The Italian Flag

Philip Gooda


This rustic Italian dish was taught to me by friends who lived then in the suburbs of Rome. The Italian flag has alternating stripes of green, white and red which makes this dish a patriotic favourite. I have called it a side (which would then be 4 servings) but it can be a main too - served with crusty rustic bread, green salad and a citrussy dressing.


★★★★★ 1 vote

15 Min
45 Min


  • 2 Tbsp
    olive oil
  • 4
    zucchini, thinly sliced to a lady's little finger width
  • 1 clove
    garlic (a large one!)
  • 4 oz
    mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced to a lady's little finger width
  • 4
    tomatoes, peeled and sliced to a lady's little finger width
  • 1/4 c
    parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1 Tbsp
    basil, fresh - chopped
  • ·
    salt and pepper

How to Make The Italian Flag


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Move oven rack into the top third of the oven.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat, and spread the zucchini slices into the skillet in a single layer. If they don't fit, cook them in batches. Cook until the zucchini are golden brown on both sides, about 8 minutes per side, but this timing can vary greatly. Sprinkle the slices with garlic for the last few minutes, so it doesn't burn. Remove from heat and let cool. PLEASE NOTE - you can also achieve the cooked golden colour under a broiler if you wish to reduce some of the oil content. See also the 'footnotes'!
  3. Arrange the slices of zucchini in an 9x12-inch glass baking dish, alternating with slices of mozzarella cheese and tomato, so that the slices overlap each other in a neat row pattern, like slates on a roof. This will produce alternating stripes of green, white and red. Oh, just like the Italian flag!
  4. Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese and basil over the dish, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. About 30 minutes before you want to serve it, bake in the preheated oven until the cheese is melted and brown and the dish is bubbling.
  6. Footnotes
    If you wish to take a bit extra time, put the freshly sliced zucchini in a colander in layers, salting each layer as you go. Then place a suitably sized plate (or equivalent) on the top and weigh it down (scale weights are good for this -- although I have used big liter bottles of water before now and/or bags of sugar!). After 30 or so minutes, a surprising amount of water will have been drawn out. You can then dry the slices thoroughly with a clean cloth, or paper kitchen towel (careful not to leave paper behind!) and then they're ready for cooking.

Printable Recipe Card

About The Italian Flag

Course/Dish: Vegetables
Dietary Needs: Vegetarian
Other Tag: Quick & Easy

Show 3 Comments & Reviews

Refreshing Summertime Evening Cocktails

Refreshing Summertime Evening Cocktails

What better way to relax at the end of the day than to make a refreshing cocktail and take a few moments to yourself? We all know summertime can be busy. We may not be able to do this every day, but at least once a week I try to. It helps me clear my […]

Baking With Blueberries

Baking With Blueberries

Breads and muffins and coffee cakes, we love baking with blueberries! Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dessert, these goodies are bursting with fresh blueberries and a treat for the whole family. So grab all those blueberries you recently picked and head to the kitchen!

7 Summer Trifles

7 Summer Trifles

Who doesn’t love this lovely layered treat? Dating back to the 18th century, this is a tried and true summer dessert. Perfect for picnics, cookouts, and get-togethers, trifles are a delicious dessert that feed a crowd. Simple, gorgeous, and can be made ahead of time, trifles come in all shapes and sizes and flavors for […]