I realized at the outset of this recipe that I haven’t cut zucchini in the traditional sense in quite some time. You know, with a knife. I’ve been allll about spirlizing. I can’t help myself, spiralizing is SO easy. And fun. And it just looks cool.
But then I saw a zucchini bake the other day in Food & Wine magazine and the zucchini was sliced so perfectly in delicious skinny slivers that I couldn’t help but try something similar. Turns out, I stick to spiralizing because I absolutely S-U-C-K at making perfect, uniform zucchini slices. #truth. See, it’s never too late to learn something new about yourself.
I usually reserve veggie bakes for wintertime when it feels like you need something super thick and hearty to warm you from the insides. I was wondering if veggie bakes could ever make a seasonal crossover and I think I found the answer: zucchini.
Zucchini is THE vegetable to transcend boundaries both categorically and seasonally. If this dish was made with acorn squash or sweet potatoes, it would hands down be a fall/summer recipe. But the zucchini? The zucchini screams summer.
My mom makes this insanely delicious potato gratin that I basically beg her to make for any and every holiday dinner. “Oh, how about those potatoes? You’re making the potatoes, right?” She’s taught me once or twice but her potatoes are always way better.
I thought using zucchini would keep this gratin lighter and perfect for summer, yet filling and hearty. The cheese is TO DIE FOR. Gruyere, you guys, Gruyere is the secret to any good gratin. I’m convinced.
I traded a typical breadcrumb topping for some chopped nuts that give it a fun new dimension and amazingness. Plus it keeps it low carb and gluten and grain free so it’s a win all around.
Ok ok, I’m actually getting hungry again. I think I need to run to the kitchen for a snack. Bah.
What? Oh, you want to know what I’m snacking on? I got a ramekin, put in a couple tablespoons of almond butter, drizzle of agave nectar, and sprinkle of cacao nibs, mixed it all up and am savoring each bite between sentences. See, that was like a bonus recipe within the greater zucchini gratin recipe post. So, you’re welcome 🙂
But let’s get into it. Sorry for the tangent. Let’s do the damn thang. Let’s make Zucchini Gratin because it’s bomb. And delicious. And will totally change your veggie bake paradigm. I mean, not to hype it too much, but…
Cut the zucchini and squash in thin slices. If you can, try to get them 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick. Mine were all over the place width-wise (read personal realization above), but try to keep them less than 1/4 inch thick.
Place them in a large bowl an toss with olive oil, sliced garlic, salt and pepper. I am a chronic under-salter and a never-pepperer, but it’s definitely worth getting out of your comfort zone and bit and adding about 1/8 teaspoon each. It adds some extra flavaaa flav to the dish.
Line the zucchini across a baking dish so they are standing on their side. Wedge the sliced garlic in between the zucchinis. Bake for 25-30 minutes until they are tender and browned on the top.
While the zucchini is baking, place the pistachios and almonds in your food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds, until everything is chopped, but larger than a nut flour consistency.
Add the cheese on top of the zucchini. Sprinkle the nut mixture on top.
Bake for an additional 10 minutes and remove from the oven.
This is best served immediately! Though, I did reheat it the next day and it was AMAZING!!
- 2 zucchinis
- 2 yellow squash
- 1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- sea salt and pepper (about 1/8 teaspoon each)
- 1/3 cup pistachios, shelled
- 1/3 cup sliced almonds
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup Gruyere cheese, shredded
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Cut the zucchini and squash in thin slices. Try to get them about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick.
- Place them in a large bowl and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Line the zucchini across a baking dish so they are standing on their side.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes until they are tender and browned on the top.
- While the zucchini is baking, place the pistachios, almonds, and sea salt in your food processor and pulse for about 10 seconds, until everything is chopped, but larger than a nut flour consistency.
- Add the cheese on top of the zucchini. Sprinkle the nut mixture on top.
- Bake for an additional 10 minutes and remove from the oven.
Recipe inspired by one I saw in Food & Wine magazine!