Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Summer Gratin

This morning I set out to make a summer vegetable gratin (French word, pronounced: "gra-tan") to properly showcase my farmer's market produce- tomatoes, zucchini & red onions:) This dish is easy but requires several steps and a bit more time than most 'everyday' dishes but is so worth it:) So grab your 'handy dandy' paper towels and let's get started!

First, I sliced the zucchini into uniform medallions (approx 1/4 inch thick) and placed them in a colander with approx 2 tsp kosher salt (if using table salt, decrease to 1 tsp); toss the zucchini to evenly coat and set your timer for 30 minutes. This draining process relinquishes much of the water from the squash which naturally has a very high water content.

Next I cored & sliced my tomatoes (again, approx 1/4 inch thick) and placed them on a double layer of paper towels; sprinkle lightly with salt and allow to rest for a few minutes.

I took 2 smallish red onions and sliced in half and then sliced each half into slices. Caramelize the onions in a non stick pan over medium heat- don't be tempted to rush this and cook over high heat as you'll get scorched onions:)

Blot tomatoes with a double layer of paper towels to soak up as much moisture as possible. *NOTE: It may seem labor intensive to drain/blot your veggies but if these steps are skipped your final dish will be soupy vs fresh and light:)

Now, spray your oven safe dish and begin blotting the zucchini rounds with paper towels and shingling them in the dish. I lightly sprinkled some salt & pepper on top.

Next, shingle the tomato slices on top and sprinkle with salt & pepper.

Top the tomato with the caramelized onion and some crumbled goat cheese- if your cheese won't easily crumble, pop it in the freezer for 10 minutes and then crumble away:) Drizzle with olive oil and cook at 375 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until the cheese is spotty brown and the zucchini is cooked.

Final touch- sprinkle some fresh, minced herbs on top (I used parsley but basil would have been lovely).

Ta da! Handy dandy vegetables, straight from the garden/farmer make this dish perfect but you can use whatever you have on hand. Yellow squash is a nice addition.

This summer gratin is lovely warm or room temperature with eggs for brunch, fresh pita for a snack or coupled with a crunchy pork chop (left over from yesterday) and pickled peaches:)

Thanks for stopping by:)


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