One of my absolute favorite ways to eat vegetables is in a gratin. A bit of cheese and breadcrumbs on top, maybe a creamy sauce underneath and then the fresh flavor of vegetable to cut the richness. I do it at all times of year with different vegetables. In late fall, I love Brussels sprouts gratin. Now, at the very end of summer when there are zucchinis in abundance everywhere, I do it with zucchini.
You can do it with zucchini alone or you can add in some other vegetables. For today’s recipe I’ve added summer squash, grape tomatoes, and lots of garlic. So good.
This gratin is light and fresh tasting, even though it does have cream in it. The reason is that only a small amount of cream is used. This isn’t a gratin where the vegetables are drowning in sauce, more, they’re lightly coated. This allows the flavor of the vegetables to really be the star.
Making Zucchini Gratin
You actually won’t believe how easy this gratin is to make. You toss the vegetables with flour, salt, pepper ,and cream. The vegetable mixture goes into an oven safe dish, I like to use 10 inch glass pie plate. A casesrole would work as well. You want the vegetables to be in a fairly shallow layer such that most of them are touching the base of the baking dish, but some are doubled up.
What’s extra lovely about this dish is that you don’t need very much cream. What happens is that the liquid from the squash gets released as the veggies cook. It mixes with the flour that has been dusted around it all and also with the bit of cream to create a sauce.
It’s not a lot of sauce, just a bit. But when you scoop it onto your plate, there’s enough that it’s clinging to all of the vegetables, and there’s some left on your plate as well, so if you have some bread get ready to sop that bit up!
Before baking the gratin, you also top it with a mixture of panko breadcrumbs, shredded Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. That browns on top while the veggies and sauce cook below.
Bake it uncovered until the zucchini and summer squash are fork tender, the breadcrumbs are browned, and you can hear some sizzling or bubbling from the bit of sauce in the dish. It takes 20-25 minutes. Let it rest for 5 minutes before serving.
More Zucchini Love
Want to learn more about zucchini? Check out this article over on TheCookful.
It’s zucchini season. I’m jumping in with a zucchini gratin that’s loaded with garlic and some nice cheesy breadcrumbs. Care to jump in with me?
Listen to me explain briefly about how to make this gratin, with some great tips along the way, by clicking the play button below:
- 2 medium summer squash (about 6 oz. each)
- 2 medium zucchini (about 6 oz. each)
- 1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes
- 2 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly
- 2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp. salt, divided
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
- 1/4 shredded Parmesan cheese
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Trim the ends off of the zucchini and squash. Slice them into 1/4 inch slices.
- In a large bowl, toss the slices with the grape tomatoes, garlic, flour, 3/4 teaspoon of the salt, and the pepper. Stir.
- Add the whipping cream and stir well. Transfer vegetable mix to a 10 inch pie plate. Use a spatula to scrape in all of the liquid.
- In a separate bowl, rub the panko breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese together to shorten the cheese strands. Stir in the olive oil and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt until all crumbs are moistened. Sprinkle the crumbs over the veggies.
- Bake until the topping is brown, the veggies are fork-tender but not mushy, and the sauce is making a bubbling sound, 20-25 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.