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Zucchini Gratin uses tender roasted zucchini, fennel and red onion topped with shredded Gruyère cheese in a creamy sauce, topped with breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese and then baked to into the perfect side dish. This dish is great in the summer months to use up that zucchini or as a side at the holidays!
My garden is producing a lot of zucchini right now. I am always looking for new ways to use zucchini aside from bread. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good zucchini bread. But sometimes you just want to try something new!
I recently started making this Mexican Zucchini dish, along with these Zucchini Fritters and today’s Zucchini Gratin. These dishes are on rotation now in my house! There is really nothing better than roasted vegetables, like zucchini paired with cheese and a creamy sauce. The icing on the cake with this recipe is that crunchy panko topping!
WHAT INGREDIENTS ARE IN THIS ZUCCHINI GRATIN RECIPE?
ZUCCHINI: As many of you know, zucchini is in season right now. If you have a garden you are probably starting to see it pop up. It is also in abundance at farmers markets. The zucchini is the star of this dish. After roasting it along with the fennel and red onion it becomes tender and slightly sweet.
FENNEL & RED ONION: The fennel and red onion add flavor to this dish that is unexpected and subtle. You will love the light, bright spring-light quality the fennel brings to the dish.
SPICES: The combination of the oregano, parsley and the nutmeg is really nice in this dish. It pairs wonderfully with the cream sauce.
CREAM SAUCE: The cream sauce uses heavy cream and nutmeg. My favorite part of this dish is how creamy and cheesy it is! While I love this Zucchini Gratin in the summer it is also a great winter holiday side dish.
CHEESE: Cheese makes everything better and this dish is no exception. I don’t use Gruyère cheese nearly enough so I was happy to add it to this one. It pairs nicely with the salty Parmesan cheese.
PANKO: The topping is a crispy layer of panko and Parmesan cheese mixture. If you don’t like the texture of panko you can use regular breadcrumbs.
HOW DO YOU MAKE ZUCCHINI AU GRATIN?
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.
- In a large mixing bowl combine the olive oil, zucchini, fennel, onion, salt and pepper and mix well.
- Put the zucchini mixture in a 2 1/2 quart casserole dish. Bake until just tender, about 20 minutes.
- Whisk together the cream and nutmeg in a small bowl and pour over the vegetables.
- Sprinkle with the Guyere cheese evenly over the top of the zucchini. Bake until bubbling, about 5-10 minutes.
- In another small bowl combine the panko and the Parmigiano-Reggiano.
- Remove the baking dish and sprinkle with the panko and bake until golden brown, about 5 to 10 more minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Serve warm!
HOW CAN I MODIFY ZUCCHINI GRATIN?
- Use broccoli instead of zucchini by substituting 1 pound of broccoli florets and stems and 1 garlic clove for the zucchini and fennel. Use 1/2 teaspoon thym instead of the nutmeg.
- Add yellow squash in place of one of the zucchinis.
- Mix up the cheese you use and try something like gouda, sharp cheddar or even pepper jack cheese.
- Skip the breadcrumbs all together for a gluten-free side dish.
- Add other vegetables like carrots or eggplant to the mix!
Variations using brococli: Substitute 1 pound of broccoli florets and stems and 1 garlic clove for the zucchini and fennel. Use 1/2 teaspoon thyme instead of the nutmeg.
Variations using brococli:
Substitute 1 pound of broccoli florets and stems and 1 garlic clove for the zucchini and fennel. Use 1/2 teaspoon thyme instead of the nutmeg.