This cheesy, creamy zucchini gratin is all of the good things in life. Soft zucchini slices, roasted onions and a creamy sauce with a hint of nutmeg covered with a truffle cheese layer and crispy panko breadcrumbs. Perfect to feed a family or a group!
I'm pretty sure that there's nothing can go wrong when cheese, cream and truffles are the main components of a dish. Having said that, I'm going to say that you're in need of a hug this week please make this. It feeds a small army and is a great side dish or a meal on its own.
I know that zucchini is really more a summer sort of vegetable than a winter one but the original recipe that I saw on Rocky Mountain Woman's blog calls for zucchini and so I kept it like this. I think this would also work with really thinly sliced fennel too and other winter vegetables. Her method is really interesting. I never thought to bake in parts. Usually I put everything in the baking tray together and let that cook but I thought that there was genius to layering it and then cooking each layer separately.
Speaking of separation, it has been on both of our minds with our new little puppy Teddy. You see Mochi was pretty much my perfect dog except for one thing: she had separation anxiety. We couldn't leave her alone at home because she would constantly bark so we would ferry her off to my parents' house every time we had to go out without her where they would look after her. However they are moving soon and we realised that we had to make sure that Teddy didn't have separation anxiety (and it seems some breeds are more prone to it). Getting them used to separation when they're a puppy is the ideal time to do it.
Every day we try and leave him alone for at least an hour. We will go for a walk or pop out to run an errand and he relaxes in his crate and pen. We have a nest camera on him just in case and we can talk to him through it if we need to although thankfully he just sleeps most of the time or plays with his toys. He loves his crate as it is his safe space and he sleeps through the night and uses the pad to pee if he needs to so he's doing very well.
However we struck a little problem today when we woke up this morning. Our little escape artist had somehow managed to escape the pen and woke Mr NQN up by licking his toes which were peeking out from the blanket! We may have to change his name from Teddy Elliott to Teddy Houdini!
So tell me Dear Reader, have you ever made a bake like this with baking different layers separately? Do you have a favourite winter vegetable that you would use?
Cheesy Zucchini Gratin
An Original Recipe by Lorraine Elliott
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
- 4 zucchini, sliced thinly in coins
- 1 large onion, peeled and sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 300ml/10.6flozs. cream
- 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup cheese, grated (I used a mix of Comte, truffle cheddar and tasty because I had bits left over)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and diced
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 1 cup parmesan, grated
- 50g/1.7ozs cold butter, cubed
Step 1 - Preheat oven to 200C/400F and place the sliced zucchini, onion, salt and pepper in a casserole dish. Drizzle with oil and bake for 25-30 minutes until zucchini and onion are soft.
After baking the cheese layer
Step 2 - Mix the cream, nutmeg, grated cheese and garlic together and pour over the zucchini and bake for 10-15 minutes until starting to bubble and brown. Mix the panko breadcrumbs and parmesan together and sprinkle over the top. Top with cubed butter and bake for another 10 minutes or until golden brown. Season with salt and pepper again if it needs it.