Zucchini and Spinach Gratin

It’s been cool out recently, and this combination of garden fresh veggies in a hot cheesy one-dish meal seems perfectly suited for our current Berkshire weather.

My sister and I made this without a recipe, if you've got the basic ingredients: greens, cheese and eggs, you can make a hot, healthy meal!

The recipe I found on Simply Recipes is pretty similar to what Elise and I came up with.  It calls for bacon and I think it adds a lot of flavor. For those of you who don’t eat pork, or meat, you can substitute butter and or olive oil (a couple tablespoons) to sauté the onions.  Tempeh bacon could also work nicely.

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 lbs zucchini, grated
  • Kosher salt
  • 6 packed cups of fresh chopped spinach leaves, blanched and drained or 1 lb frozen spinach
  • 3 slices of thick cut bacon (about 3 ounces), cut crosswise 1/4-inch pieces.  Did you know you can get local bacon from your local Meat Market in Great Barrington?!
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 handful of parsley (about 1/2 cup of leaves, lightly packed)
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and mashed
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (we used half goat chevre and half sheep feta)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 eggs, whipped
  • Olive oil


METHOD

1 Grate the zucchini. Toss the grated zucchini with about a teaspoon of Kosher salt. Place the grated zucchini in a large sieve (or colander) placed over a bowl to catch the water as the salt helps the zucchini release its moisture. Let sit for 30 minutes or so, then squeeze out the remaining excess moisture with your hands or a clean tea towel.

2 Blanch the spinach, drain it in a colander and squeeze out the excess moisture with you hands.  Or, if using frozen spinach: thaw the spinach, let drain while the zucchini is draining. Then squeeze out the excess moisture with your hands or a tea towel.

3 Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add the bacon and gently cook until lightly browned and most of the fat rendered out, about 10 minutes.

4 While the bacon is cooking, peel and finely chop the onion. Add the onions to the bacon and cook for an additional 10 minutes, until the onions have softened.

5 While the bacon and onions are cooking, prepare the parsley and garlic. Chop the parsley and garlic (I used a garlic press) and put it into a large bowl.

6 Preheat the oven to 350°F.

7 Place the zucchini and spinach into the large bowl with the parsley and garlic. With a wooden spoon, mix in the cooked onions and bacon. Mix in half of the Parmesan. Taste, and add black pepper and more salt to taste. Mix in the whipped eggs.

8 Coat the bottom and sides of a 2 quart casserole or gratin dish with a tablespoon of olive oil. Put the zucchini spinach mixture into the dish and pack it down. Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan cheese over the top and drizzle with a little olive oil.

9 Bake in a 350°F oven for 40-45 minutes, until the top is nicely browned. Serve immediately. Reheats well.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6.

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. realfunfood
    Sep 08, 2011 @ 18:35:25

    This looks really good. I’m all about one dish meals, especially when they include spinach!

    Reply

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