Did you know that Friday(Aug 8th) is the official "Sneak some zucchini onto your neighbor's porch day"?
I thought my zucchini were never going to make it after the hailstorm in July, but I cut off the shredded leaves, left one or two on for photosyntheses and like the never say die plants they are it has managed to rally and produce at least three gorgeous striped ones so far. Since I only have one plant (plus one that only produces male flowers) I don't think I'll need to sneak around under the cover of darkness depositing the spare ones on my neighbor's porches, but when all those tomato plants decide to come in at once baskets may start appearing. Funny how no one ever minds spare tomatoes.
Now if you have to share some zucchini love this recipe is the the one to use. Who doesn't love a gratin? Anything under a nice crust sounds good to me. You can knock this gratin up in the cool of the morning and serve it later at room temperature with a nice side salad. I love how in Mediterranean countries the cooking is done in the coolest part of the day and dishes are eaten later at room temperature. I think it makes the flavours come out more that trying to eat it while it is still hot. This dish also packs well for travel, and can serve as a nice vegetarian dish to bring to the family barbecue.
This recipe comes from Mediterranean Harvest by Martha Rose Shulman. We made it at create a cook back in Summer Harvest week in late June and I have been waiting for a chance to make it at home. A walk through the vegetable bed on Saturday yielded a lovely green striped zucchini and the fat yellow one came from the Waltham farmer's market along with the purple pepper and the two heirloom tomatoes.
Click below for recipe.
Provencal Summer Squash, Red Pepper and Tomato Gratin
Adapted from Mediterranean harvest by Martha Rose Shulman
Extra virgin olive oil
1 large red onions, chopped
1 large red bell pepper cut into ¼-inch dice
5 large garlic cloves, minced
1 pound summer squash, cut into ½-inch dice (3 cups)
salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tsp fresh thyme, I would also add basil and maybe even marjoram next time
½ cup basmati rice, cooked or 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs (omit if Paleo)
3 large eggs
½ cup milk
¾ cup grated Gruyere or raclette cheese (ok primal not paleo)
¾ pound tomatoes, sliced
¼ cup breadcrumbs (omit if Paleo)
2 TBS Parmesan, grated (ok primal not paleo)
Heat the oven to 375F
Oil a 2 to 2-1/2 quart gratin dish.
Heat some olive oil inn a large heavy nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Add the onion, sprinkle with some salt and cook, stirring often until it is translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add the bell pepper and continue to cook and stir until the pepper softens, 3-5 minutes.
Add the garlic and stir for about 30 seconds,add the squash.
Cook, stirring often, until the squash begins to exude some juices and barely starts to soften, 5-10 minutes, remember it is going to back in the oven for another 45 minutes.
Season well with salt and pepper.
Add the thyme (or other fresh herbs) and rice, I didn't have any cooked rice on hand so I decided to use up a chiabatta roll and made fresh breadcrumbs; remove from the heat.
Beat the eggs in a large bowl, add the milk and 1/4 tsp salt and whisk.
Tip the cooked vegetable mixture into the gratin dish and sprinkle over the grated Gruyere or raclette.
Pour over the egg and milk mixture.
Cover the top of the gratin with the sliced tomatoes in a single layer.
Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top and I added some Parmesan micro planed over the top as well.
Drizzle on the remaining 1 TBS of olive oil.
Bake gratin for 45 minutes or until the top is browned and the gratin is sizzling.
Let it rest for a bit before slicing so it has time to set, or better yet serve later at room temperature.