Saturday, January 1, 2011

Zucchini & Summer Squash Gratin with Parmesan & Fresh Thyme

This recipe comes from the web site, Fine Cooking.

For this gratin, you can use all the interesting green and yellow summer squashes (pattypan, scallop, crookneck, butterstick) you find at the farmers' market however, I tend to stick with zucchini.

Serves six to eight as a side dish, four as a main dish. 

For the onions:

2 Tbs. olive oil

2 medium onions (14 oz. total), thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

To cook the onions:

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until limp and golden brown, about 20 min.

Reduce the heat to medium-low if they're browning too quickly.

Add the garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, 1 to 2 min.

Spread the onions and garlic evenly in the bottom of an oiled 2-qt. shallow gratin dish (preferably oval).

Let cool.

What Goes on Top of the Carmelized Onions -

1-1/4 lb. ripe red tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices

3/4 lb. (about 2 small) zucchini or other green summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices on the bias

3/4 lb. (about 2 small) yellow summer squash or golden zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices on the bias

3 Tbs. olive oil

1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves

1 tsp. coarse salt

1-1/4 cups freshly grated parmigiano reggiano

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

(if making this a main dish, I sometimes add crumbled cooked bacon or leftover chicken)

To assemble the gratin: Heat the oven to 375°F. Put the tomato slices on a shallow plate to drain for a few minutes and then discard the collected juices.

In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini and squash slices with 1-1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil, 2 Tbs. of the thyme, and 1/2 tsp. of the salt. Reserve half of the cheese for the top of the gratin.

Sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the thyme over the onions in the gratin. Starting at one end of the baking dish, lay a row of slightly overlapping tomato slices across the width of the dish and sprinkle with a little of the cheese.

Next, lay a row of zucchini, overlapping the tomatoes by two-thirds, and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat with a row of squash, and then repeat rows, sprinkling each with cheese, until the gratin is full.

Season lightly with pepper and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt.
Drizzle the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil over all.
Combine the reserved cheese with the remaining 1 Tbs. thyme and sprinkle this over the whole gratin.

Cook until well-browned all over and the juices have bubbled for a while and reduced considerably, 65 to 70 min. Let cool for at least 15 min. before serving.

Nutrition information (per serving):

Size: based on eight servings; Calories (kcal): 200; Fat (g): 14; Fat Calories (kcal): 120; Saturated Fat (g): 4; Protein (g): 9; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): 12; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 1; Sodium (mg): 540; Cholesterol (mg): 10; Fiber (g): 3; photo: Mark Ferri