Finally, a Gratin…

I’ve been searching for this recipe for quite a while now. A gratin. A non-potatoes gratin. A great dish. A different Grataaaaaaaannnn….

Sure, this wasn’t as easy-peasy as the gratin in my fantasies, but it certainly was as tasty. I started by salting some thinly sliced zucchini until it released all of its water.

Then I got to work on the magic herby sauce that I would eventually toss the zucchini in.

And browned butter, did I mention that there was browned butter involved? It gets tossed into fresh breadcrumbs to make a nutty slice of heaven.

Everything got tossed together with some gruyere.

And baked until it was nicely browned and crispy.

And then yes, me and Lisa ate it straight out of the pan. There were some burned mouths by the end, but we didn’t really care. We were in a gratin coma….

Zucchini Gratin with Salsa Verde

Yield: 4 servings

Salsa Verde:

1 teaspoon fresh oregano

1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint

1 cup coarsely chopped parsley

1 small clove garlic

1 anchovy

1/2 cup olive oil

1 tablespoon capers, drained

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Black pepper to taste

Gratin:

2 pounds zucchini

1 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup sliced shallot

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon fresh thyme

1 1/2 cups grated Gruyere cheese

– Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Toss the slices in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and let sit for 30 minutes.

– Meanwhile, using a food processor, grind the herbs, garlic and anchovies and half of the oil to a paste. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

– Gently pound the capers until they’re partially crushed and add them to the herbs. Stir in the remaining oil, the lemon juice, salt and black pepper. Taste for balance and seasoning.

– Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl. Heat the butter in a small saute pan over medium heat for a few minutes, until it browns and smells nutty. Pour the brown butter over the breadcrumbs, being sure to scrape all the brown bits into the bowl with a rubber spatula. Wait a minute or so for the butter to cool, and toss well. Set aside.

– Drain the squash well and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Add the shallots, minced garlic, thyme, 1/2 cup of the salsa verde, and some pepper. Toss to combine, and add the cheese and half the butter-coated breadcrumbs. Toss again, and taste for seasoning.

– Place the squash in a 9-by-9-inch gratin dish. Scatter the remaining breadcrumbs over the top, and bake 40 to 45 minutes, until the squash is tender and the top is crisp.

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