For baked zucchini, gather 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, 1 pound fresh zucchini, Hungarian paprika, salt and pepper. For the crumb topping, organize 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup grated cheese, 8 sprigs of thyme and olive oil. Bake in a 350-degree-Fahrenheit oven for approximately 30 minutes.
First, cut the zucchini on a bias, ensuring that the slices are about a quarter inch thick. Next, take an 8 by 8 inch or similarly sized baking dish and grease the bottom with the teaspoon of olive oil, adding more if you feel the amount is inadequate for the dish being used. Lay the zucchini down inside the dish in an even manner, forming either rows or a spiral. Sprinkle with a pinch of the paprika, followed by salt and pepper to taste.
To make the topping, first remove the thyme leaves from the sprigs and chop coarsely. Place breadcrumbs, cheese and thyme sprigs in a mixing bowl. Japanese Panko is preferable for the crumbs, but use other varieties if required. An Italian cheese, such as Parmesan, is also recommended. Sprinkle salt and pepper in the bowl, then add a tablespoon of olive oil and mix contents together. Wait until the mixture has absorbed the oil, then sprinkle over the zucchini. Place in the oven to bake. After 30 to 35 minutes, the contents of the baking dish should be bubbling, and the crumb topping nicely browned.