Moving right along on this Vegetarian Culinary Tour de France, I’ve adapted this gratin from a 1999 recipe featured in Fine Cooking. How appropriate. Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France the same year this recipe was published. Coincidence? Perhaps.
Either way, I have found a really good use for all the summer vegetables that are piling up in farmers markets and on my counter with this Zucchini, Squash and Tomato gratin. Spend some time cooking the onions slowly so they come out soft and not crisp. And, finally, if you don’t go overboard on the cheese, you can have a light dish with very intense flavors.
Zucchini, Yellow Squash and Tomato Gratin
Adapted From Fine Cooking
June 1, 1999
For the onions:
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced in circles, then cut in half
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
For the gratin:
- 3 ripe red tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices, drain off any excess liquid
- 3/4 lb. (about 2 small) zucchini or other green summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3/4 lb. (about 2 small) yellow summer squash or golden zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 – 3 Tablespoons Herbs de Provence
- 2 Tablespoons basil, freshly chopped
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1-1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesean
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Heat olive oil over medium heat in a skillet or pan. Add onions and cook until limp and browning – about 20 minutes. Stir frequently. (Turn down the heat if the onions cook too quickly.) Add garlic and saute for another 1 or 2 minutes. Spread the onion garlic mixture on the bottom of a baking dish. Sprinkle some of the herbs and all the basil on top of the onion mixture.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Toss zucchini and squash slices with a drizzle of olive oil (about 1 1/2 Tablespoons), 2 Tablespoons herbs de provence, and 1/2 tsp salt.
Beginning at one end of the baking dish, layer the tomatoes overlapping them slightly over the width of the dish. Then sprinkle with a little of the cheese. Then, lay a row of zucchini, overlapping the tomatoes, and sprinkle that row with a little cheese. Add an overlapping row of yellow squash, and sprinkle with the cheese. Then start over with the tomatoes. (I slid the tomatoes a little under the row of yellow squash so things didn’t topple over.)
Keep going with the layers until the pan is filled.
Grind some pepper, sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt and then drizzle a little bit of olive oil over the top. Put about 3 teaspoons of herbs de provence in the remaining cheese. Stir to combine. Then sprinkle over the top of the entire pan. (I’ll let you decide how much cheese to throw on the top. Since this was already part of a creamy decadent meal, I used only a little bit of the remaining cheese.) Cook until the juices bubble and the top is well-browned – a little more than an hour. Let it cool a little bit before serving.