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Let's Dish With Linda Lou

Sharing My Recipes, My Life, And The Food Tale Of Two Cities

Zucchini And Cremini Mushroom Gratin. Gluten Free

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Zucchini And Cremini Mushroom Gratins are the easiest yet the most elegant looking appetizers to serve to your guests. Everyone gets their own individual dish. That always seems to make friends and family feel extra special. Whenever I make a tomato sauce, I always seem to have plenty left over. There’s just two of us so I’m always trying to think up different ways to use any leftover sauce. That’s how this dish came to be. This recipe can be made easy enough if you don’t have leftover sauce. All you would have to do is to buy your favorite jarred marinara sauce.

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In a large sautépan over medium-high heat, carefully melt the unsalted butter with the olive oil. Add the sliced mushrooms and fresh thyme leaves. Sautè the mushrooms, about 5-7 minutes, or until they’ve browned nicely. One the mushrooms have browned season with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste and stir. Note: Wait to salt the mushrooms until they’ve browned completely. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.

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Slice 2 zucchinis and 1 yellow squash about 1/2 an inch thick. Place them into a bowl and sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Using the same sautèpan, on medium heat, add the olive oil. Give the oil a chance to get nice and hot but not where its smoking.

Carefully place the sliced zucchini and squash into the pan, do not to overcrowd the veggies. This needs to be done in two separate batches. They will shallow fry for about 2 minutes per side. Do this just long enough for the veggies to soften and get some nice color on them before they go into the gratin dishes. Again, have a large plate lined with a paper towel so once the veggies are done sautèing, they go right onto the plate to remove any extra oil.

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In a bowl is my leftover tomato sauce. If you don’t have any homemade tomato sauce, substitute your favorite jarred sauce In another bowl add the ingredients for cheese filling. I have Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese that I’ve ground up in a mini food processor. Add half of the grated cheese into the bowl with Ricotta, egg, freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley,  and a sprinkling of Kosher salt, black pepper. Finally, add the half and half, just enough to thin the cheese mixture. Now the cheesy component of gratin is done. It’s time to assemble.

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Start with the zucchini and squash slices first. One even layer at the bottom of the dishes. Next, a thin layer of homemade marinara sauce. I like using homemade marinara because it already has the onions, garlic, and basil. On top of that, the sliced cremini mushrooms. Sprinkle just a little of the grated cheese, that I reserved, on top of the mushroom. Then I spoon on the cheese mixture. Lastly, the rest of the reserved Parmigiano-Reggiano, I sprinkle evenly on top of each one.

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees F. Place the 3 gratin dishes on two baking sheets to prevent any spillover. Bake for 30 minutes. Once they’re out of the oven, I garnished with a sprinkle of chopped flat leaf Italian parsley.

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Yields: 3 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes, (the slicing and sautèing of the vegetables)
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Equipment: 3 gratin dishes, 1 rimmed sheet pan

Ingredients:
1/2 cup olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil for sautèing mushrooms
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 zucchini, sliced
1 yellow squash, sliced
3/4 cup homemade marinara sauce ( bottled is fine)
2 tablespoons of thyme leaves (or1 tablespoon dried thyme)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt (for seasoning zucchini and squash)
1 teaspoon black pepper (for seasoning zucchini and squash
1/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup half and half
1 large egg
3/4 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese  plus 3 tablespoons for the top of each gratin
1/4 cup of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley ( reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish

Directions:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
In a large sautépan over medium-high heat, carefully melt the unsalted butter with the olive oil. Add the sliced mushrooms and fresh thyme leaves. Sautè the mushrooms, about 5-7 minutes, or until they’ve browned nicely. One the mushrooms have browned season with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste and stir. Note: Wait to salt the mushrooms until they’ve browned completely. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.

Slice 2 zucchinis and 1 yellow squash about 1/2 an inch thick. Place them into a bowl and sprinkle with Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Using the same sautèpan, on medium heat, add the olive oil. Give the oil a chance to get hot but not where its smoking.

Carefully place the sliced zucchini and squash into the pan, do not to overcrowd the veggies. This needs to be done in two separate batches. They will shallow fry for about 2 minutes per side. Do this just long enough for the veggies to soften and get some nice color on them before they go into the gratin dishes. Again, have a large plate lined with a paper towel so once the veggies are done sautèing, they go right onto the plate to remove any extra oil.

While that’s working, go ahead and process the Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese in a food processor.  Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

In a large bowl add the ricotta, egg, half and half, chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley,  3/4 cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and a pinch each of Kosher salt and black pepper, mix to combine.  If you are using leftover marinara or are using jarred, have it ready.

In each of 3 gratin dishes, place a layer of the zucchini and squash. Next, and a thin layer of the marinara sauce. To that, add the sautèed mushrooms. Sprinkle a little of the reserved grated cheese on top of the mushrooms. Next spoon on a third of the ricotta cheese mixture.

Finally, top each gratin with a tablespoon of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Place the dishes on a rimmed sheet pan. Bake for 30 minutes. When the Zucchini And Cremini Mushroom Gratins come out of the oven, garnish with the parsley.

Serve hot.

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