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Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer Vegetable Gratan: Recipe

Last summer I made a gratan just like this one - a recipe that was not mine but rather Ina Garten's. It was wonderful, a big hit! Hers featured tomatoes, zucchini and potatoes along with Gruyere cheese. So I modeled this after hers since it was so delicious but away went the potatoes and in came eggplant and Parmesan. The cooking time was far less since the potatoes take a great deal of time in the oven. The summer is not a time to turn on the oven for any real length of time so this was perfect. My husband ate most of this and barely left any for the rest of us!! This feeds 4-6 servings. You can certainly double the recipe - you would have to for a larger group because everyone goes back for seconds!

Summer Vegetable Gratan
1 long Itchiban Eggplant, sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
1 large green zucchini, sliced into 1/4" thick rounds
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced into 1/4" thick slices
1 medium onion, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tsp. fresh thyme, minced
4 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 Tbsp. lemon oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 375.

Drizzle the lemon oil on the bottom of a round pie dish (9"). Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan and saute onion over medium high heat about 10 minutes - until it's soft. Add the garlic and 1 teaspoon of thyme and saute another minute. Spread the onion mixture onto the bottom of the pie dish. Layer the eggplant, zucchini and tomato slices in an attractive array according to your taste (i.e., in concentric circles or straight lines across the plate).

Sprinkle salt over the pie plate and drizzle the entire dish with the remaining olive oil and remaining thyme. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with cheese and bake another 5 minutes. Remove and cool about 15 minutes before serving.

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