You just can’t go wrong with America’s Test Kitchen. Any recipe I’ve tried from ATK has come out perfectly. When I saw this cookbook focusing on using the food processor I had to try it.
Actually, I had this book checked out of the library a while back and waited to post this. I don’t know why. Then I thought about not posting it as some folks are in the middle of extreme winter weather where you can’t get a decent tomato or zucchini. But it is summer in the southern hemisphere so I thought, why not. (That’s a shout out Carole’s Chatter 🙂 And I would still make this in winter with hothouse tomatoes because its a comfort food (for me).
Anyway…….first recipe I tried was a Summer Vegetable Gratin with lots of juicy tomatoes, crisp zucchini, sliced onions and garlic. Obviously there is cheese and the merging of these ingredients makes for a fabulous side dish or vegetarian main dish. It also makes for a messy kitchen but I assure you it’s worth it.
This was meant to last as two side dishes but we almost devoured the entire thing in one sitting. We served this with grilled fish.
Recipe follows and I will warn you, it’s a bit time consuming but you can cut back on the time with some of the prep. I gave the recipe as printed in the book but obviously you can make your own adjustments. Enjoy!
6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1 pound yellow squash, ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
2 teaspoons table salt
1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (3 to 4 large), sliced 1/4 inch thick
2 medium onions, halved lengthwise and sliced thin pole to pole (about 3 cups)
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 large slice white sandwich bread, torn into quarters ( I used 1 cup of Panko one time and a slice of my French bread another time)
2 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated (about 1 cup)
2 medium shallots, minced (about 1/4 cup) (I used onions once and shallots the next time. made no difference)
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
Brush 13- by 9-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil; set aside. Midway through prep start heating your oven to 400 F.
Toss zucchini and squash slices with 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl; transfer to colander set over bowl. Let stand until zucchini and squash release at least 3 tablespoons of liquid, about 45 minutes. Arrange slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible.
Place tomato slices in single layer on double layer paper towels and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 30 minutes. Place second double layer paper towels on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry tomatoes.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, remaining salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened (15 minutes). Set onions aside.
Combine garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and thyme in small bowl. In large bowl, toss zucchini and summer squash in half of oil mixture, then arrange in greased baking dish. Arrange caramelized onions in even layer over squash. Slightly overlap tomato slices in single layer on top of onions. Spoon remaining garlic-oil mixture evenly over tomatoes. Bake in a 400 degree oven until vegetables are tender and tomatoes are starting to brown on edges, 40 to 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, process bread in food processor until finely ground, about 10 seconds. (You should have about 1 cup crumbs). Combine bread crumbs, remaining tablespoon oil, Parmesan, and shallots in medium bowl. Remove baking dish from oven and increase heat to 450 degrees. Sprinkle bread-crumb mixture evenly on top of tomatoes. Bake gratin until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and let sit at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.
It’s a bit time consuming but it’s delicious. Totally worth it.