You can prepare this colorful gratin up to one day ahead. Fresh oregano will add the most flavor, but dried can be used if fresh is not available.
4 zucchini, about 6 inches long (1 1/2–1 3/4 pounds)
3 large ripe tomatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), cut into 12 slices each
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 slice firm whole wheat bread, cubed (1/2 cup)
3 fresh oregano sprigs (about 30 leaves) or 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Trim the zucchini and cut it in half crosswise. Cut each half lengthwise into 4 slices.
- Arrange alternating slices of the zucchini and tomato in a 12-by-9-by-2-inch gratin dish and pour the olive oil on top. (The gratin can be prepared to this point up to a day ahead, covered, and refrigerated.)
- FOR THE TOPPING: Combine the cheese, bread, oregano, salt and pepper in a mini-chop and process to crumbs. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the oil. Set aside.
- At serving time, sprinkle the gratin with the topping. Bake for 35 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender and moist and the top is nicely brown.
Jacques Pépin is a world renowned French chef, instructor, and cookbook author who hosts the KQED cooking series Essential Pépin. The recipe for zucchini and tomato gratin is reprinted from the cookbook, Essential Pépin, with permission from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Co.
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Copyright © 2011 by Jacques Pépin. Used by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.