I think my body is longing for summer. It’s not only the fact that I’ve been cold for about two months straight, but also that I’ve been craving summer fruits and veggies. Zucchini isn’t in season right now and even though I usually like to eat my produce seasonally, I couldn’t help making this. When I crave a particular veggie I think of it as my body’s way of telling me what it needs…and I’ve been dying for zucchini, so I went with it. This dish was delicious, and in about seven months it will become indispensible when I’m looking for any and every way to use up the abundance of zucchini.
This gratin is easy to whip up and tastes fantastic in its simplicity. Served with a big green salad and some crusty bread it makes a wonderful lunch for two, or if you prefer, you can cook up some pasta to serve alongside.
(Yield: Serves 2 as a light meal along with a green salad and some crusty bread)
1 ½ TB olive oil
1 small-medium (about ½ lb) zucchini, sliced into ½-inch thick rounds
1 very small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
½ c tomato sauce
1 ½ oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1-2 TB fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 375F.
Add oil to a medium-sized skillet over medium-high heat; when oil is hot, add zucchini slices and sauté until browned on both sides (about 2-3 minutes per side). Transfer zucchini to plate lined with paper towels to drain any excess oil; turn heat down to low and add onion and garlic. Sauté until onion is soft (about 5 minutes), stirring occasionally and adding a splash of water if the pan gets too dry.
Pour the onions on top of the zucchini in the gratin dish and season with a sprinkle of salt and pepper; spread the tomato sauce on top. Sprinkle the mozzarella cheese on top of the tomato sauce, and bake 15 minutes.
Turn on the broiler and sprinkle the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese on top of the gratin. Broil 1-2 minutes (stay with it, this happens fast), until golden brown in spots.