[ezcol_1third] I like having recipes in my repertoire that are simple to make and super versatile in how they can be served. This zucchini bake, for example, ticks so many boxes I can't really think of an occasion when it wouldn't be the perfect thing to dish up. It's vegetarian, gluten free, and I bet even kids would eat it. It works as a side or a main, can be served hot or cold, at lunch or at dinner. And once you've mastered the proportions  it can easily be made as a cosy week-night meal for two or into a massive casserole to feed an army of friends on the cheap. Good, right? This bake is basically quite a healthy quiche filling, and what I particularly like about it as an everyday kind of meal is that it packs a lot of veg into each serving but tastes comfortingly of creamy, slightly salty, baked eggs and melted cheese.

Gluten-Free Vegetarian Zucchini Bake

1. In a food processor grate 4-6 washed and dried zucchinis, depending on size.  Sprinkle the strands with sea salt and let stand in a colander for 15-20 minutes.

2. Change the to the food processor's chopping blade and blitz together 1 bunch of very coarsly chopped spring onions,  4-5 cubes of defrosted spinach or a big handful of fresh leaves, a pinch of salt and pepper. Add in 4 eggs, a 250g tub of ricotta or cottage cheese, and a handful of grated cheddar. Blitz again.

3. Transfer the eggy-cheesy mixture into a big bowl. Using your hands squeeze as much liquid out of the zucchini as possible before stirring it into the mixture.

4. Spoon all the combined ingredients into a greased baking dish then top with more grated cheese and slices of tomato. Pop into a pre-heated 200C oven for 45 minutes and let cool for 10 before cutting into pieces and serving. Or, let it get cold and call it 'crustless quiche' for luncheon.  Serves 6-8. TIP: drizzle a little olive oil over the tomato slices to prevent them burning.

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Catherine Roberts