The original recipe for the Zucchini and Tomato Gratin used rosemary, which I dislike, and had somewhat complicated directions for layering vegetables with cheese, bread crumbs, etc.
Instead, I decided to use the technique I learned while making Barefoot Contessa's Vegetable Tian, and used fresh basil instead of rosemary and panko crumbs instead of regular crumbs.
The smartest part of this recipe was sauteing the zucchini on both sides prior to adding them to the baking dish: this got rid of some of the moisture and gave the zucchini a lot of flavor.
Since the amount of tomatoes was half the amount of zucchini, when layering, I used two zucchini slices for each tomato slice.
This dish is great served hot or at room temperature. I even ate it cold straight out of the refrigerator a few times.
Adapted from Sunday Roasts
olive oil for sauteing
2 pounds zucchini, sliced into 1/4" rounds
kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper
1 pound tomatoes, sliced into 1/4" rounds
6 tablespoons panko crumbs
6 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup crumbled feta
2 tablespoons pine nuts
garnish: fresh basil
1. Preheat the oven to 425F.
2. In a large frying pan heat enough oil to cover the bottom of the pan and saute zucchini slices for four minutes on each side. You may need to do this in batches. Season the slices with salt and pepper as soon as you remove them from the pan.
3. Combine the panko crumbs with cheese and sprinkle on top of the vegetables. Drizzle with a bit of olive oil and top with pine nuts.
4. Bake for 25 minutes and garnish with chiffonade of basil.
I don't know about you, but I think the final result is absolutely gorgeous! You will get some juices from the vegetables on the bottom of the baking dish, so make sure you have some bread to soak it up. Serve this on its own or as a side with roasted chicken or steak.
PS. Remember that I will be announcing the winner of the OXO salad spinner giveaway on Monday. This means you still have time to enter it!
Tell me what you are cooking this weekend!