25 June 2009

Zucchini - Tomato Gratin

The latest issue of Vegetarian Times had a Zucchini - Tomato Gratin recipe, and as luck would have it, I had baby zucchini and tomato sitting on the counter tonight. The VT recipe seemed a bit predictable to me, so I have changed it up, and you can do most of it outside on the grill if you want.

I'm confident that anyone who tries this recipe will add it to their regular rotation. The fresh tarragon and oregano bring a bright and unexpected pop of flavor that you are bound to enjoy.

Zucchini - Tomato Gratin

3-4 medium tomatoes, in 1/4 inch slices
4-5 small zucchini, thinly sliced (1/8 in or so)

2 tsp olive oil
1 Tbs Earth Balance butter substitute
1/2 tsp sea salt

1 Tbs fresh thyme leaves
2 Tbs chopped fresh French tarragon
2 Tbs chopped fresh oregano leaves

8 oz of your favorite melting cheese or cheese substitut, grated I normally use Teese when I want a substitute mozzarella cheese

1) Drape tomato in a colander and sprinkle with salt. Let it drain for about 45 minutes. In the sink or a sheet tray, of course...

2) While waiting - spread zucchini on a baking sheet, sprinkle lightly with salt and let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse well and pat dry.

3) Preheat oven to 375F inside, or light grill outside. Bring the grill temperature to approximately 375F. Preheat a non-stick skillet on medium heat.

4) In the heated non-stick skillet, add 1 tsp of oil and half the Earth Balance. Saute zucchini for 3-4 minutes until golden brown on both sides. Transfer to a plate. You'll likely need to do 2 batches so you don't crowd it, so add the rest of the oil and Earth Balance for the second batch.

5) Using an 8 inch square baking dish or cazuela: layer half the zucchini slices and lightly salt. Add half the tomato slices, half of all the herbs and 1/3 of the cheese (not half). Repeat another layer. Be sure and salt the zucchini layers lightly

6) Sprinkle with all of the remaining grated cheese/cheese substitute.

7) Cover with foil and grill/bake 15 minutes.

8) Remove foil and bake for 20 minutes or until bubbling and the cheese is melted.

9) Let stand 5 minutes before serving. Serve with a slotted spoon.

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