Gratin of Roasted Whole Baby Zucchini with Red Pepper and Herbs Recipe

Gratin of Roasted Whole Baby Zucchini with Red Pepper and Herbs Recipes

Ingredients :

1.5 tbsp olive oil

4 baby zucchini with blossoms, cut lengthwise into quarters; or 2 large zucchini, ends trimmed, cut crosswise in half and then lengthwise into quarters (when cutting the zucchini, be careful not to cut through the blossom)

1 red bell pepper, cored and cut lengthwise into 8 strips

6 cloves garlic, peeled and left whole

1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme; or 1 tsp dried

1 tbsp chopped fresh basil; or 1 tsp dried

salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp coarse dry breadcrumbs

3 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese

Method :

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Grease the bottom of a medium-size gratin dish or shallow casserole with 1 tbsp of the oil. Alternate the zucchini and pepper strips in the bottom of the dish, and scatter the garlic and herbs around the edges. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle the remaining 1/2 tbsp oil over the top.

Roast the vegetables until they are almost tender when pierced, 15-20 minutes. Mix the breadcrumbs and cheese in a small bowl. Remove the dish from the oven and top the vegetables with the breadcrumb-cheese topping. Continue roasting until the cheese is golden brown and bubbling, 3-5 minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.

Makes 2 servings as a main course or 4 servings as a side dish

Look for farm-fresh baby zucchini with the blossom still attached. Come August, when zucchini threatens to take over the garden, just about anyone who grows them will be more than willing to give a few away. With the gratin, serve a grilled steak, chicken or shrimp.

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