SUMMER VEGETABLE GRATIN
Picture before going into the oven:
Picture once it was ready:
Extra Virgin Olive Oil - 5 tbsps
Zucchini - 1 (About 500 gms) - cut into 1/2 inch round slices
Squash - 1 (About 500 gms) - cut into 1/2 inch slices
Salt - As required
Tomatoes - 3 to 4 large
Onions - 2, medium - Sliced lengthwise
Shallots - Minced, 1/4 cup
Ground Black Pepper - 1 tsp
Chilli Powder - 1 tbsp
Garlic Paste - 2 - 3 tsp
Fresh Thyme Leaves - 1 tbsp
Fresh Basil Leaves - 1/4 cup, chopped
Parmesan Cheese - 1.5 cup (Or you can use Cheddar if you prefer)
Breadcrumbs - 1/2 cup
1. Put the zucchini & squash slices in a large bowl and sprinkle some salt over it. Mix it thoroughly.
2. Transfer the salted pieces to a colander and leave it for about 45 minutes. It must have released about 3 tbsp of liquid. (This ensures your gratin does not end up being watery)
3. Arrange the slices on 2-3 paper towels and cover them again with 2 - 3 paper towels. Squeeze as much as liquid out of them as possible.
4. Arrange the tomato slices on 2 paper towels and sprinkle them with 1/2 tsp salt. Leave it aside for about 30 minutes.
5. Now cover the tomatoes with 2 paper towels. Squeeze as much as liquid out of them as possible.
6. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan / skillet until simmering. Add the sliced onions, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
7. Cook the onions until they are golden brown and then set them aside.
8. Start the oven and heat it to 210 degree Celsius.
9. In a small bowl, add the garlic paste, 2 tsp oil, 1/2 tsp black pepper powder, 1 tbsp chilli powder and thyme.
10. Add half of this mixture to the zucchini and squash slices.
11. Brush the baking dish with 1 tsp oil and then arrange the zucchini & squash slices in a baking dish. Then arrange the caramelized onions over the top. Then lay the tomatoes in a single layer on top of the onions.
12. Add the remaining garlic - oil mixture all over the tomatoes.
13. Bake until the vegetables are tender and the tomatoes start browning on the edges. (About 35 - 45 minutes)
14. In a bowl, add the breadcrumbs, 1 tsp oil, Parmesan cheese and shallots.
15. Remove the baking dish from the oven and increase the temperature to 240 degree Celsius. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture all over the dish.
16. Bake until you can see the cheese turns slightly brown and bubbling (about 5 minutes)
17. Sprinkle with basil.
18. Set aside for about 10 minutes before serving.
P.S. This is not my own recipe. I have adapted it as per my taste though.