You can tell that spring is in the air, as lot of my recent posts seem to be about vegetables. Spring means that the Farmer’s Market will soon be open – Yeah!
When I think of eating a mix of vegetables at dinner, my mind immediately goes to a stir fry. One afternoon I decided to look for a different way to bring a variety of vegetables to the dinner table, in a non-stir fry format. I pulled out some of my cookbooks and started looking at side dish recipes. Nothing was jumping off the page and grabbing my attention.
I had more hope when I picked up one of my America’s Test Kitchen Cookbooks. When in doubt, they can usually provide some inspiration. Once again, they didn’t disappoint!
As soon as I saw the picture for the Squash and Tomato Gratin I knew I was in business! Vegetables layered on top of a bed of caramelized onions – Yes Please! Plus, it gave me an opportunity to use the mandoline that been given to us as a wedding gift 🙂
The initial selling point was that this dish used tomatoes. I love tomatoes, and can eat them like an apple. In my opinion, if you cut into a tomato you might as well eat the whole thing, therefore we never have half sliced tomatoes in our fridge.
Now, I don’t cook a lot with cheese (unless I am making pizza or vegetable balls), but when I saw that the recipe called for a Gruyère cheese, I thought I would give it a try, as this cheese has a nutty taste, and I love nuts! To compliment the flavour of the cheese, I actually topped the gratin with sliced almonds.
The sweet combination of tomatoes and caramelized onions, balanced with slices of zucchini and topped with a layer of cheese and nuts, made for a delicious and beautiful vegetable side dish. I think that it would make a welcome addition to any family Sunday dinner or your next holiday gathering 🙂
America’s Test Kitchen – Healthy Family Cookbook
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 medium onions, sliced thin
- 1 tsp brown sugar
- Salt & Pepper
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced thin
- 3 plum tomatoes, cored and sliced thin
- 1/2 cup shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1/4 cup sliced almonds
- Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onions, sugar and 1/4 tsp salt and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are golden and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Lightly spray a 9×9-inch baking dish. Spread the onion mixture into dish. Alternately shingle the tomatoes and zucchini on top of the onions.
- Brush the tops of the vegetables with the remaining olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the dish tightly with foil and bake until the vegetables are almost tender, about 30 minutes.
- Remove the dish from the oven and remove foil. Sprinkle with the Gruyère cheese and almonds. Place back into the oven and continue to bake until bubbling around the edges and lightly browned on top, about 20-25 minutes.
- Let rest 10 minutes before serving.