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

on October 8, 2015

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Gratins are the easiest yet stunning appetizers to make. 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 have plenty left over. There’s just two of so, I try to think up different ways to use any sauce that may be laying around in the frig. Now this particular batch had whole Cremini mushrooms. Steve loves mushrooms and if he has any say in what goes in the sauce it’s always mushrooms. 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 sauce, and saute off some Cremini mushrooms.

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So as you can see, I pulled out all the left over mushrooms from my sauce and just sliced them up. There were about 10 mushrooms. Now, all you need to do or the mushrooms is heat up a saute pan. Melt a 2 tablespoons of butter with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Slice 1/2 a pint of Cremini mushrooms and throw them right into the pan set on med-high heat. I like to add a 2 teaspoons of fresh thyme leaves, but dried thyme is fine. Use 1 teaspoon of the dried. I also add black pepper and Kosher salt to taste.  I don”t salt the mushrooms until they reached the brown stage. The salt will cause them to release their water and they won’t brown properly. Once you see they are nice and caramelized, just sprinkle salt to taste. The sauteing of the mushrooms will only take about 10 minutes. Once the mushrooms have been sauteed, remove them from the pan and place them into a bowl until we need them again.

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I have 2 zucchinis and 1 yellow squash that I’ve sliced about 1/2 an inch thick. I have them in a bowl where I’ve added Kosher salt and pepper. Using the same pan, on med heat, I add in 1/4 cup of olive oil that I let get really hot. I carefully place the sliced zucchini and squash in not to over crowd. This needs to be done in two separate batches. They will shallow fry for about 2 minutes per side. I do this just long enough for the veggies to soften and get some nice color on them before they go into the gratin dishes.I have a large plate lined with paper towel so once the veggies are done sauteing, they go right onto the plate to remove any extra oil that may be on them.

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I already have my left over tomato sauce set in a bowl and ready. In a separate bowl I make the cheese filling for the gratin. I have some Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese that I’ve ground up in my mini food processor. I add half of the cheese, that I ground up, into the bowl with some Ricotta, egg, some freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley,  and a sprinkling of Kosher salt, black pepper. Finally some half and half. I use the half and half just to thin the mixture out a bit. So now the cheesy gratin part is done. It’s time to assemble.

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So I figured that, with the amount of mushrooms and zucchini slices, I had enough veggies to make 3 individual gratins. You don’t want to over fill the dishes because the cheese sauce has to go it and they will rise slightly. I started with the zucchini and squash slices first. One even layer at the bottom of the dishes. Next, a thin layer of the tomato sauce, which has onions,garlic, and basil in it. On top of that, the sliced cremini mushrooms. I 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.. I place the 3 gratins on two baking sheets to prevent any spillover. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. and bake for 30 minutes. When finished, garnish with some chopped flat leaf Italian parsley.

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Yields: 3 servings
Prep Time: 25 minutes allowing for the sauteing of the vegetables
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Equipment: gratin dishes
Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil plus 1 tablespoon ( for sauteing mushrooms)
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 sliced zucchinis
1 sliced yellow squash
3/4’s of a cup of marinara sauce ( bottled is fine)
2 tablespoons of thyme leaves ( 1 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’s cup plus 3 tablespoons of grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/4 cup of freshly chopped flat leaf Italian parsley ( reserve 2 tablespoons for garnish

Directions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Start out by sauteing all the veggies in a large saute pan over med heat. You need to start with the mushrooms, ( wait to salt the mushrooms until they’ve browned, just a sprinkle.) and then go to the zucchinis. They’ll  need to be done in batches.  While that’s working, go ahead and process the cheese in a food processor. Once all the veggies have been sauteed and are nicely brown. Transfer them to a plate lined with paper towel to drain. Next make the ricotta cheese mixture for the gratin. In a bowl adding the ricotta, egg, half and half, 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano-Reeggiano, and a pinch each of Kosher salt and black pepper.  If you are using leftover marinara or are using bottled have it ready. In each of 3 gratin dishes, place a layer of the zucchini and squash. Next, and thin layer of the marinara sauce. To that the sauteed mushrooms. I sprinkle a little of the reserved grated cheese on top of the mushrooms. Then, spoon on the ricotta cheese mixture. Finally top each gratin with a tablespoon of the grated cheese. Place the dishes on baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes. When they come out of the oven, garnish with the parsley. Serve while hot.


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