Summer Vegetable Gratin

Summer Vegetable Gratin

This recipe is a long time coming and I kind of feel bad it took me this long to post it on here, but I had to make sure it was perfect.  I have made this dish about 6 times in the last month tweaking things here and there until I got it just right.  The idea for the dish came from Anne Willan’s “The Good Cook” under the title of “Jessica’s Garden Gratin.”  The first time I made it, I found it good, but just a little lacking in flavor and thought that with some minor changes I could improve what I thought was a great base recipe.  I now think I have the perfect recipe and haven’t altered it the last two times I’ve made it and I want to finally share it with every one.

This is, perhaps, the most colorful dish I have ever made.

This is, perhaps, the most colorful dish I have ever made.

Doesn’t that look good (I forgot to take a pic after it cooked, so that is right before it went in the oven)?  The best part of this meal is that with the exception of the salt, pepper and oil… every ingredient is found at my local farmer’s market.  So, let’s get cookin’, huh?

Ingredient Breakdown:

  • 3 Tomatoes (3/4 lb), seeded
  • 2 Zucchini/Yellow Squash (3/4 lb)
  • 1/2 Eggplant (1/4 – 1/2 c), sweated (or use a skinned white eggplant with no sweating)
  • 1 Bell Pepper (any color)
  • 3 Tbs Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 c Herbs (Basil, Oregano, Parsley, Chives… you pick the mix)
  • 4 oz Goat/Sheep Feta (cow will do, but I like those in here better)
  • 4 oz Shredded cheese (mozzarella, provolone, etc.  I like kasseri).
  • Salt & Pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.
  2. Slice your eggplant into 1/4″ thick strips and sweat (salt heavily and lay on either baking racks or a colander).  Sweat for 30 – 45 min then rinse (continue prep while this sweats).
  3. Seed and chop the tomatoes, then toss with 1 Tbs of Olive Oil, Garlic, 1/2 of the herbs, salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.
  4. Split the zucchini into four pieces (vertically) then slice about 1/4″ thick (horizontally).  Set aside.
  5. Core, seed, and thinly slice the bell pepper.  Set aside.
  6. Rinse off your eggplant (when the sweat is done) and slice it into a pieces about the same size as the zucchini.
  7. Now it is time to assemble!  Place 1 Tbs Olive Oil at the bottom of a glass 9×9 glass dish.  Layer in this order:
    • 1/2 of your zucchini
    • 1/3 tomato and herb mixture
    • 1/2 of your shredded cheese
    • 1/2 the bell pepper
    • the eggplant
    • remaining bell pepper
    • 1/3 tomato and herb mixture
    • remaining shredded cheese
    • remaining zucchini
    • remaining tomato and herb mixture
    • feta cheese (crumbled)
    • remaining herbs
  8. Drizzle the last 1 Tbs Olive Oil over the top and pepper to taste.
  9. Bake for 25 – 30 minutes, until the feta is browned and the veggies are tender.
  10. If all the liquid doesn’t evaporate (there is a lot of it), use a turkey baster and drain it out.  You can reserve this liquid to use as a salad dressing because there is a ton of flavor packed into it.
  11. Eat!  This is good stuff!

As always, I made sure to take a ton of photos, so check out below to make sure you’re on the right path.  Oh!  Interesting note, I couldn’t decide between zucchini and yellow squash so I got both… kinda.  Check out the Zephyr Squash… doesn’t that look so cool?

1

Bunch o' herbs

1

Sweatin' eggplant

1

Why get just red?

1

Zephyr Squash

If you make this and make any changes, please let me know as this is a great dish and I’m sure it could be even greater!


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