I've had quite a bit of zucchini to use up from our garden. We've had it in salads and on pizza as well as in this delicious gratin. I was ready for more zucchini dishes but for some reason all the plants just died. I'm thinking it's the 14 tomato plants I planted this year that took over. I over did it a bit. I'm learning a lot of lessons for next year's garden. Good news is the tomatoes are thriving! I've already made two big batches of tomato sauce! Speaking of, I'll post two versions of sauce I've made possibly three.
This gratin is great as a side dish or as a Vegetarian main course. I found the recipe on Epicurious but I substituted the white rice for brown and added some basil. I think the basil was key.
1/3 cup brown rice
2-3 zucchini (about 3 medium), sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
6 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 pounds plum tomatoes, sliced crosswise 1/4 inch thick
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 Tsp thyme, chopped
2 Tbs basil, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, divided
For the gratin:
Preheat oven to 450F with racks in upper and lower thirds.
While rice cooks, toss zucchini with 1 tablespoon oil and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a shallow baking pan. Toss tomatoes with 1/2 tablespoon oil and 1/4 teaspoon salt in another baking pan.
Roast zucchini in upper third of oven and tomatoes in lower third, turning vegetables once halfway through roasting, until tender and light golden, about 10 minutes for tomatoes; 20 minutes for zucchini. Leave oven on.
Meanwhile, cook onion and garlic with 1/2 teaspoon salt in 2 tablespoons oil in a large heavy skillet, covered, over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
Stir together onion mixture, cooked rice, eggs, thyme, basil, 1/4 cup cheese, 1 tablespoon oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Spread half of rice mixture in a shallow 2-quart baking dish, then top with half of zucchini. Spread remaining rice mixture over zucchini, then top with remaining zucchini. Top with tomatoes and drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons oil, then sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.
Bake in upper third of oven until set and golden brown, about 20 minutes.