Zucchini and Onion Gratin

Zucchini and Onion Gratin

Zucchini and Onion Gratin

I know that later in the summer we will be so overwhelmed by the amount of zucchini that is available, we won’t know what to do with it all, but right now the thought of making a zucchini baked dish with some tender young zucchini, seemed like a good idea to go with my grilled chicken menu.  And later on when all those zucchini show up on my doorstep, I’ll be returning to this recipe again, and again.

IMG_7579

The use of the term gratin in food preparation means that an ingredient is topped with a browned crust that can be made from breadcrumbs, grated cheese, eggs or butter.  A gratin is usually prepared in a shallow dish, then baked or cooked under an overhead grill or broiler to form a golden crust on top and is traditionally served in its baking dish, a gratin dish.

This recipe pretty much meets that description.  Using just a few key additives to enhance the rather bland flavor of zucchini, it turns out to be wonderfully flavorful.  Pre-broiling the zucchini helps to get them browned, and sprinkling a small amount of Parmesan cheese on top further forms a browned crisp crust.  You can serve this dish hot, but it’s also great at room temperature.

ZUCCHINI AND ONION GRATIN

Yield:  serves 6    ( Note:  1 serving is about 1 cup and equals 92 calories and 7 gm carbs.)

Ingredients:IMG_7565

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 3/8 teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1  1/2 pounds zucchini, diagonally sliced into 1/4-inch thick pieces
  • 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1/4 cup)

Directions:

1.  Heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add 1 tablespoon oil to pan, swirl to coat.  Add onion; cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Stir in tomato paste, cook 2 minutes.   Stir in lemon rind, thyme, 1/8 teaspoon salt and  pepper; cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Sauté onions and thyme, then add tomato paste and lemon rind.

Sauté onions, then add tomato paste, thyme and lemon rind.

2.  Preheat broiler to high.

3.  Arrange zucchini on a jelly-roll pan.  Drizzle with remaining 1 tablespoon oil; toss.  Broil 7 minutes or until lightly charred.  Sprinkle with remaining salt.

Lay zucchini slices out on a baking sheet for broiling.

Lay zucchini slices out on a baking sheet for broiling.

4.  Preheat oven to 375*F.

5.  Spread onion mixture in a 2-quart gratin dish.  Arrange zucchini mixture over onion mixture.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover and bake at 375*F. for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven.

Arrange in a baking dish and top with grated cheese.

Arrange in a baking dish and top with grated cheese.

6.  Uncover zucchini mixture; broil 1  1/2 minutes to lightly brown the top if needed.   Note:  I thought mine was adequately browned after baking, so I omitted this step–use your judgement if it’s needed.

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SOURCE:   Quick Vegetarian Pleasures

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