Saturday, September 28, 2013

Zucchini Gratin - Blue Monday

If ever you've wondered why I don't review restaurants, this snippet from my notes might help you understand. "The best part of lunch was the al fresco setting. That, unfortunately, wasn't edible. Neither was the food." I'm by nature easy to please and hate to find a recipe or restaurant wanting. I envy reviewers who can handle negatives in a less blunt fashion than my own. If you want to read wonderful restaurant reviews, I urge you to read those written by Jeroxie or the distaff side of Pig Pig's Corner. Good or bad, they deliver their opinions in a far more tactful manner than my own, but you still know where they are coming from and they speak truth to power. It's my hope that folks who stake their reputations on the contents of a plate, will learn that kitchen and staff must be supervised at all times. Reputations made at dinner can be lost at lunch and, with no dearth of restaurants, "eternal vigilance" just might pay next months rent. I'd name the restaurant at which I ate, but it will be gone within 6 months so there's no reason to cause ill-will in my small community. A bad lunch, however, means dinner must be PDG. To help ours along, I fell back on a wonderfully simple dish created by Patricia Wells. I can honestly say I've never had a bad experience with her recipes and she is one of my favorite food writers. The dish is a zucchini gratin and it is a wonderful accompaniment to plain grilled meat or poultry. It is easy to assemble, quick to cook and altogether delicious. I hope you'll try it. You're going to love the way it tastes. Here's the recipe.

Zucchini Gratin


2 tablespoons olive oil

4 cloves garlic, peeled and halved

1 pound yellow and green zucchini, trimmed and cut into chunks

1/4 cup light cream or half-and-half

1 teaspoon kosher or sea salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 cup (1-oz.) freshly grated Gruyere cheese


1) Preheat broiler. Grease a 1-quart gratin dish. Set aside.

2) Heat oil in a large skillet set over moderate heat until it is hot but not smoking. Add e garlic and zucchini, and brown for about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, cover, and cook until soft, about 8 minutes more.

3) Transfer zucchini to prepared gratin dish. Drizzle light cream all over. Season with salt and pepper. Adjust seasoning to taste. Sprinkle with cheese. Place under broiler and broil until the cheese is melted and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Yield: 4 servings.

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