This zucchini gratin is such a comforting, luscious way to enjoy zucchini. If you’re over your steamed or sautéed zucchini, then this will get you back in love with my favourite green vegetable – shhh, don’t tell kale but an old flame is back in my heart!
What you’ll need (serves 4-6 as a side dish or 2 as a main meal with a side salad)
40g butter or ghee, or coconut oil
6 medium sized zucchini, chopped into wheels of 1/2 cm thickness
1 purple onion (2 if small), rough chopped
1 large clove of garlic – if it has a green shoot / core when you cut the clove in half, carve that out as it’s very hard to digest.
1 heaped teaspoon provençale / French dried herb mix (if using fresh, do 2 tablespoon of chopped parsley and 2 thyme sprigs)
a little parmeggiano reggiano / gran padano to sprinkle over the top (I use these cheeses because they are raw milk cheeses, packed with enzymes and much more digestible than pasteurised cheeses)
optional nutrient boosting extras…
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional. full of B vitamins)
1 teaspoon dulse flakes (optional. seaweed flakes packed with minerals. We call them ‘purple sprinkles’ for children’s purposes)
What to do
Melt fats in a medium pan and pop onion in. Sautée 2 minutes.
Add zucchini wheels, garlic, herbs and nutritional yeast and dulse flakes if you’re adding those.
Toss around casually for 5-10 minutes and get on with other stuff.
Then, once the zucchini is well cooked and quite soft, grab either a fork, masher or stick mixer and mash just about 1/3 of the mixture roughy, basically so there are some wheels in tact and some mixture really more like a mash.
Pour into a baking dish of your choosing and sprinkle your cheese on top and grill for 5-10 minutes until the top is deep gold.
Serve either as a delicious lunch with a side salad or as a side dish to roast chicken, beef or baked fish.
DAIRY FREE NOTE: Simply sprinkle with nutritional yeast and a little almond meal or rice crumbs on top instead of the cheese.
EFFICIENCY NOTE: Make 2 or 3 times as much (cooking time will go up 5-10 minutes as well) and put what you don’t need this time away in the freezer for a ‘defrostable’ gratin down the line. Just leave the grated cheese out of the equation until you’re going to be having it, and bake in the oven instead of grilling as it won’t heat through in 5 minutes under the grill. Bake for 30 minutes on 180C
Such an easy dish and a deserved game of dress ups for the humble zucchini.
Real Food. Happy Bodies