Sunday, October 23, 2011

Zucchini Gratin with Tomato and Oregano

We had this as a side dish served with the porcetta a couple of weeks ago. We had some tomatoes left to harvest and zucchini so this was a nice end-of-summer recipe to go with and complemented the pork nicely. The recipe was based specifically on a Marcella Hazan dish but with liberal interpretations of my own.

1 1/2 pounds zucchini sliced thinly into disks
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic crushed in a mortar
1/2 onion diced
2 cups fresh tomatoes peeled
a couple of fresh oregano branches
2 tablespoons fresh parsley
fresh cracked black pepper
2 tablespoons fresh grated Parmigiano Reggiano

Preheat oven to 400 with a rack in the next to uppermost position. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Add the garlic and cook until colored, about a minute. Add the zucchini and heat until limp and cooked through. Remove from heat.
Heat a small saucepan over medium heat, add the remaining oil and the onion. Heat until translucent then add in the peeled tomatoes and their juices along with chopped leaves from the oregano. Cook gently for about 20 minutes then remove from heat. Add in the parsley, salt and pepper.

Smear the bottom of a baking dish with some of the cooked tomatoes.

Layer in half of the zucchini discs, cover with half of the tomato sauce, then grate with half of the cheese with a pinch of salt.


Add another layer with the remaining zucchini, then tomato sauce, then a final grating of cheese and a sprizzle of olive oil and another pinch of salt and some pepper.

Place the dish in the next to uppermost rack of the oven positioned when you preheat the oven and bake for about 15 minutes uncovered, or until the cheese is melted and somewhat colored.

Remove from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for about 10 minutes before serving.
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