Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Zucchini and Tomato Gratin

You still need recipes for those tomatoes from your garden or the zucchini and tomatoes people are giving you?  Here is one.

Zucchini and Tomato Gratin 

2 pounds zucchini, sliced 1/4-inch thick (4 zucchini)
4 large sliced tomatoes
3/4 cup bread crumbs
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbs. butter
Seasoning salt recipe below

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Begin by making a pesto of:

2 cloves of garlic
1/2 cup shelled pistachios
2 cups loosely packed basil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Place garlic in food processor; pulse until chopped. Crush your pistachios first a little.  Add pistachios, basil, lemon juice and salt; pulse until nuts are finely chopped.  Add your favorite olive oil gradually through food chute and process until well combined. Add cheese and pulse 2 or 3 times.

Set aside.

Spray a 9 X 9 baking dish.  Slice your zucchini about ¼ of an inch thin.  Slice your tomatoes about ¼ of an inch thin.  Fill the bottom of the baking dish with the zucchini and then a layer of sliced tomatoes.

Seasoning Salt
Make a seasoning salt with teaspoon of Kosher salt, ½  tsp. pepper, 1 tsp. of garlic powder, 1 tsp. of onion powder and ¼ tsp. of nutmeg.  Mix in a small bowl and sprinkle some of it on top of the tomatoes. 

Sprinkle a little pesto on top of the tomatoes.  Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top and begin another layer. 

Top with your favorite bread crumbs (Italian seasoned would bring extra flavor or make your own) and more Parmesan cheese. Dot with 2 tablespoon of butter cut into small bits and bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and browned.

Variation -  Add chopped pistachios on top to show you are using them in the pesto.  You can also chopped Kalamata olives on top for more color and flavor.  It can be an entire meal by itself or a great side dish.

You can also serve it as a side with pasta with your left over pesto.  Make a simple angel hair pasta.

Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil for the pasta.  You can use any pasta but angel hair cooks quickly so is simple and quick.  Cook the pasta in the boiling, salted water until al dente, about 3 minutes. While you are cooking your pasta cut some cherry tomatoes in half and set aside. 

In a large frying pan that will hold the pasta, take a small ladle of pasta water and add a ladle of pesto to thin the pesto down.  Add your chopped tomatoes.  Drain your pasta and to the pesto sauce and toss. Taste for salt and pepper, and drizzle a little of your favorite olive oil and sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top. 

Variation – Don’t add the tomatoes.  Add shrimp instead and you get a whole new meal. 

More rain today and the grass is turning green again.  Can't believe what difference a little rain can make.  I don't have to water those tomato plant now.  

Have a great day, be happy and may God bless you and yours.   

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