Thursday, August 27, 2009

Zucchini Overload

This is an Alice Waters recipe that I can across in my hunt for new ways to use up the massive amounts of squash and zucchini I had between the CSA and my garden. I love her so I was excited to give it a go. However, I didn't think it would be filling enough for Kevin (who claims he's starving if dinner doesn't have meat in it) so I layered mine with a thin layer of spicy italian sausage on the bottom. If it was just for me though I would have been happy with the strictly veggie version. This is incredibly simple with ingredients that are 100% in season - not only does that help you reduce your carbon footprint, but it also helps keep costs low, AND fresher veggies = more nutrients.

Zucchini Tomato Gratin
1 yellow onion
Olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 branch fresh thyme
Fresh basil leaves
6 plum tomatoes
2 large yellow zucchini (or green, whichever you have on hand)
Balsamic vinegar (don't leave this out - it makes the dish!!)
Panko bread crumbs (japanese style, they are lighter than regular bread crumbs but you can substitute regular too if its all you have)
And if you want to make it of a little more substance - 2 Italian sausage links (decase and sautee)

Chop onion and sautee in olive oil until translucent. Season with salt and pepper, add thyme leaves and basil. Slice tomatoes and zucchini into rounds.

Layer the onion mixture in a deep quiche pan, greased with olive oil.

Add sausage to first level, or if skipping that, add a layer of tomatoes in an overlapping, circular pattern. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with balsamic vinegar. Add a layer of zucchini and alternate with tomatoes until the dish is full. Finish with a layer of zucchini and sprinkle with Panko bread crumbs, season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. I also added fresh grated parm, because I like it :)

Bake in a 350 degree oven uncovered for about 30 to 45 minutes.

Here is a picture before it went in the oven - when you cut it, its supposed to look like a layered veggie lasagna of sorts but mine kind of fell apart. Whatever, it still tastes the same :)

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