It’s July – the peak of growing season. You’ve got tons of eggplant, zucchini, squash, tomatoes and you’re probably looking for a new way to enjoy the bounty of all these veggies….right? I mean, I love tomato soup and eggplant parmesan, but it’s already getting kinda old. Lucky for me, Thomas Keller comes to the rescue with this amazing recipe for a Summer Vegetable Gratin – a new dish that you must add to your summer repertoire! It’s easy to make, it’s beautiful, and it’s very tasty!
The key is to get all your vegetables roughly the same size to they cook evenly. I think you’re going to love this dish. It goes with everything.
Summer Vegetable Gratin (Serves 6)
(from Thomas Keller’s Ad Hoc at Home)
2 Roma (plum) tomatoes
1 medium yellow squash
1 medium zucchini
1 Japanese eggplant
2.5 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, grated or minced
1 T plus 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/2 cup dried bread crumbs (I used panko)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut the vegetables into circles, all relatively the same size (1/4 inch slices). Combine the zucchini, eggplant, and squash in a large bowl and season with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Put the tomatoes in a separate bowl and season with oil, salt, and pepper.
Heat some canola oil in a frying pan over medium low heat and add the onions and garlic. Cook until the onions are translucent (not brown), about 15 minutes, and then add 1 T of the chopped thyme.
Combine the cheese, breadcrumbs, and 1 tsp. of thyme.
Now, start making the gratin. In the same frying pan (13 inches) or a 9×13 baking dish, spread all the onions evenly across the bottom. Then, layer the vegetables in concentric circles, starting with the zucchini, then the eggplant, the squash, and finally the tomatoes, and sprinkle the bread crumb mixture after each layer. It’ll look like this:
Once you have layered everything, cover the vegetables with the rest of the bread crumb mixture, and it’ll now look like this:
Put this in the oven and let it bake for about 1 to 1.5 hours until the vegetables are completely tender. Before you plan to serve, turn on your broiler and cook the gratin until the top is golden brown. Take it out of the oven and let it rest for 10 minutes, and you’ll have this:
Dig in! This is a great way to use up a bunch of those summer vegetables you have going on. And feel free to add to this recipe any vegetables you have. Sliced okra? throw it in! Green Beans? Sure! Bell Peppers? Yes, please! The beauty of this dish is you can add any vegetable you want and it’ll still taste great. Enjoy!