Dishing the DivineYum!

summer vegetable gratin

August 31st, 2011 · 5 Comments

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It seems that when I read other peoples’ blogs lately, they’re transitioning into fall already. Um, it’s still August! You can’t take summer away yet! I need to eat loads more peaches, nectarines, grapes and tomatoes before I’ve had my fill!

I found this recipe in America’s Test Kitchen 2010 cookbook. I chose it because it used zucchini and tomatoes, and I’m surely not the only one trying to find recipes to use these two ingredients! The process for making this was more work than I really wanted to do, but the results were well worth it. My friend Stacy could not stop exclaiming how good it was. My husband and I both don’t care for zucchini or cooked tomatoes and yet loved this dish. And it makes a 9×13 inch pan of gratin, so while there are many steps, at least in the end you get plenty of food to share!

summer vegetable gratin
from America’s Test Kitchen 2010 Cookbook

6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound zucchini , ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 pound summer squash (yellow), ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 teaspoons table salt
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (3 to 4 large), sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 medium onions , halved lengthwise and sliced thin pole to pole (about 3 cups)
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 large slice white sandwich bread , torn into quarters
2 ounces Parmesan cheese , grated (about 1 cup)
2 medium shallots , minced (about 1/4 cup)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves

Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 13- by 9-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil; set aside.

Toss zucchini and summer squash slices with 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl; transfer to colander set over bowl. Let stand until zucchini and squash release at least 3 tablespoons of liquid, about 45 minutes. Arrange slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible.

Place tomato slices in single layer on double layer paper towels and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 30 minutes. Place second double layer paper towels on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry tomatoes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and dark golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Set onions aside.

Combine garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and thyme in small bowl. In large bowl, toss zucchini and summer squash in half of oil mixture, then arrange in greased baking dish. Arrange caramelized onions in even layer over squash. Slightly overlap tomato slices in single layer on top of onions. Spoon remaining garlic-oil mixture evenly over tomatoes. Bake until vegetables are tender and tomatoes are starting to brown on edges, 40 to 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, process bread in food processor until finely ground, about 10 seconds. (You should have about 1 cup crumbs.) Combine bread crumbs, remaining tablespoon oil, Parmesan, and shallots in medium bowl. Remove baking dish from oven and increase heat to 450 degrees. Sprinkle bread-crumb mixture evenly on top of tomatoes. Bake gratin until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and let sit at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.

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Tags: light · vegetarian

5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Nicole@HeatOvenTo350 // Aug 31, 2011 at 8:09 am

    This time of year I’m always torn between wanting fall to come (it’s my favorite season) and wanting to enjoy the last of summer. I’m trying really hard not to bust out the canned pumpkin and baked items just yet, so I’m glad you’re still enjoying summer food, too. This gratin looks so beautiful. I just might have to buy some more zucchinis to enjoy this one.

  • 2 Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum // Aug 31, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    I’m all about baking vegetables with cheese! Yum! And the Test Kitchen has never failed me. Looks delicious!

  • 3 Baking Serendipity // Aug 31, 2011 at 8:41 pm

    If I could somehow save all the summer fresh fruits and veggies and speed up the cooler fall weather, life would be perfect :)

  • 4 sarah@spinach and spice // Sep 8, 2011 at 4:57 am

    I’m not quite ready to give up summer yet, either! Refer to my last post ;)
    Great recipe.. the summer produce is still in full force here in Ohio, so I’ll have to keep this in mind for dinner one night this week :D

  • 5 deb burow // Jul 20, 2012 at 5:51 pm

    Served this last for a dinner party of 13. There was tons of food but it was snapped up first. Everyone, even my “I’m not really a vegetable person” friends loved it.And one piece was already missing when I put it on the table! Everyone, even my “I’m not really a vegetable person” friends loved it. Yup I ate it ahead of time. Soooooo delicious. I had to make it ahead of time due to so much to do before we were eating. Made it the night before. Noticed when I was done there was a lot of juice pooling on the bottom(which would have been fine if I was serving it immediately.). So didn’t want it to set all night in the rising pool of juice. Cut out one piece so could see the juicing better. Then tilted the pan slightly and kept it tilted till I served it the next day. Sucked out the juice a couple times during the next day and when I served it (reheated in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes) it was not soggy and was totally, totally delicious! And nobody commented on the missing piece. I wonder if I could get away with that for a pie?

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