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Monday, September 13, 2010

Zucchini Gratin - Blue Monday





From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...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...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Patricia Wells

Ingredients:
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

Directions:
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.

You might also enjoy these recipes:
Summer Summer Pasta with Zucchini and Tomatoes - Je Mange la Ville
Zucchini Relish - The Local Cook
Zucchini Pancakes - Delicious Dishings
Zucchini Pistou Pasta - Closet Cooking
Zucchini Bake with Feta and Thyme - Real Mom Kitchen
Zucchini and Goat's Cheese Pizza - The Purple Foodie
Zucchini Caponata - Inspired 2 Cook
Pasta with Zucchini, Parmesan and Olive Oil - One Perfect Bite

This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday

68 comments :

SmilingSally said...

That is a beautiful setting; what a shame the food is no good.

Happy Blue Monday, Mary! Check out my book giveaway.

penny aka jeroxie said...

Another fresh looking dish. I wish I could come over for dinner everyday.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Oh Mary don't doubt your beautiful writing tone...you could definitely deliver a tactful and clever review I'm sure :)

Rosadimaggio63 said...

Hi Mary
le zucchine gratin le cucino spesso... ed è un piatto leggero e molto gustoso !
Buona giornata :)

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

So simple but I know this will be just so yummy. Diane

Pie said...

Yummy and healthy.

Have a great day.

My Blue Monday.

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

A yummy way to use those end of summer zukes, looks great!

Daniel Bingham said...

Man, everyone is posting delicious looking zucchini recipes, but zucchini isn't in season here. There aren't any season here in Phuket! I miss seasons and the foods that come with them. Still... I may be able to find zucchini in the market here. I've been shocked by vegetables that randomly appeared there before, so I'll have a look. This looks wonderful!

Jeannie said...

Another beautiful dish! You made it so simple yet sounds so delicious!

Jay said...

very nice post ...beautifully presented dear.

Red Nomad OZ said...

Homegrown zucchini are one of life's joys! Thanx for the chance to try them another way. Bummer about the meal - it's always disappointing when a new place promises much and doesn't deliver. And tact? You've already shown it by not naming and shaming! Well Done!!

Kim said...

I love pretty much everything made with zucchinis! This gratin looks good! Have a good day!

Rita said...

Love your post. We just returned from 1 week vacation. I try to find reviews on Trip Advisor to check our restaurants. Let's just say it all depends who and when it was written. We tried 2- 5 star places that served terrible meals.
Always better at home I guess.
Your gratin sounds really good.
have a nice week.
Rita

bellini valli said...

We are inundated with zucchini at every turn and I love it Mary!!!

Yvonne @ StoneGable said...

YOur thoughts on reviewing an eating establishment are very generous and kindhearted. Good for you!
Zucchini with Gruyere cheese= food heaven!
Yvonne

Allie and Pattie said...

Well, Mary, I think your tact shines through on this one. What a pity- the setting is, indeed, lovely. These simple, delicious recipes are the best
xoxo Pattie

Design Wine and Dine said...

The gratin looks healthy and wonderful! Sorry your dining out experience went poorly, however I loved reading your non-review!

CaSaundraLeigh said...

We made a similar dish like this to serve at work during the summer--it was a great way to use up zucchini and it pairs well with numerous entrees!

Martha said...

This is my favorite way to eat zucchini -- I think it makes a good vegetarian lunch entree!

Pierce said...

I love your writing style! And Patricia Wells is sure on of my favs. I made many of her recipes from the Provence cookbook. The zucchini looks great and I happen to have some in the fridge now - you have inspired me!

Lori said...

Delicious idea. I love making Patricia Wells socca recipe. Thats good to know that you havent had a bad experience with her recipes. That encourages me to try more of hers.

In answer to your question. Now that my girls are in school at the least half days, I have been quilting and taking a class on it. Fun!

Rachana said...

A lovely dish! Simple yet delicious.

Cristie said...

Mary, I have the same problem when reviewing an eating establishment. I'd rather critique my own. I do love having a solid reviewer in my city I can count on to deliver the goods to me, very important. Your gratin looks delicious, as always. Have a wonderful week.

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

I have trouble with restaurant reviews as well - unless there's a story inherent in the experience, I can't simply critique. I just ordered a gratin dish, and this zucchini dish is next on my list.

Sushma Mallya said...

Gorgeous colour, looks absolutely yum...& have a lovely day mary

Becky K. said...

You are wise, indeed, to avoid a subject with which you are uncomfortable....but you are right, the setting is lovely. I think you got your point across very well and very kindly too.

We recently had an interesting evening at a newer restaurant. I posted about some of the events while another lady who attended took a very different point of view from which to write. The differences were nearly as interesting as the evening itself.

Becky K.

Cathy said...

Yum, I could make a meal out of this delicious gratin. A little garlic, cream and Gruyere are all zucchini needs.

Gloria said...

Beauty zucchini gratin! x gloria

Miss Meat and Potatoes said...

I can't get enough zuchinni and this looks like a lovely new way (to me) to prepare it. Thanks for sharing Mary. And I too love Patricia Wells!

From the Kitchen said...

We are happily inundated with pears, apples, tomatoes and zucchini. Your gratin looks and sounds delicious and I'm grateful for the recipe.

I completely understand your reluctance to review restaurants. I, too, can pretty much gauge when one isn't going to last. But, the good ones, oh my how we enjoy returning often.

Best,
Bonnie

Samantha @ The Savvy Soybean said...

This looks delicious! So fresh and colorful. Thanks for the great recipe =)

Blue Ridge Altered Art said...

Oh my that looks delectible. It is getting close to lunch and this is making me very hungry. ~~Sherry~~

Emily Z said...

I've seen some good looking recipes for zucchini gratins. I should make one of them before they go out of season! Yours looks beautiful!

High Plains Drifters said...

perfect timing ... got a bucket full of summer squash. somehow you seem to know what i just bought and always toss out a recipe that takes my on-hand ingredients into account! cheers!

StephenC said...

My mom used to make zucchini casseroles way back in the day. The only way I've made them that Peter truly likes is to cut them into 1 1/2" rings, do the flour/egg/breadcrumb thing and saute them until browned and just hot throughout.

Susi said...

Gorgeous dish that really lets the zucchini shine! I could eat this just over rice and be a very happy camper :o)

My Little Space said...

Such refreshing side dish! Love the simplicity of the combo. Have a great day.
Cheers, Kristy

Ginny said...

This looks so easy and good. And that restaraunt is so pretty, at least what I see from your picture. I usually think if a restaraunt put all that work into decor, the food will be good. Guess that's not always the case.

Baking is my Zen...sweet nibbles for the soul said...

Great simple recipe for Zucchini. Veggie and cheese...a great combo.

Carmen
bakingismyzen@comcast.net

p.s. Send me an email. I have a question for you.

Alessandra said...

I always look forward to your meatless blue Mondays :-)

The al fresco comment is great, it made my day!!!

ciao
A.

Pam said...

Pig Pig's Corner does a good job at reviews! This zucchini gratin looks amazing - I'll give it a GREAT review.

Satya said...

wow what a delicious looking zucchini dish ...love zucchini ..don't know much recipes with it..thanks for sharing..have a nice day

Satya
http://www.superyummyrecipes.com

foodcreate said...

Very beautiful writing post ...beautifully presented Yum!~

A SPICY PERSPECTIVE said...

Oh. Patricia Wells is a goddess! I adore her recipes--they are completely fool-proof. this looks so fresh and easy, I can't wait to try it!

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I have plenty of zucchini laying around. Perfect!
Happy Blue Monday~

PeggyR said...

Oh that looks wonderful! I have some zucchini and will have to use it for this!

Foodessa said...

Mary...I wouldn't want to review restaurants either. I go once...it's great. Then I go again with friends to be terribly disappointed...and then who's the culinary dork? It's just not worth it.

Thanks for this simple gratin recipe.

All the best,
Claudia

Joanne said...

I am awful at reviews also! I can always find something to like about a place, whether it be the decor or the company I'm with!

This gratin looks fabulous. You just keep these delicious zucchini recipes coming!

Silence Sings said...

I bet you will be a very good reviewer too as you always speak the truth and you have an awesome writing skill.....the dish looks so simple and gorgeous....

Katerina said...

I have such misfortunate experiences from restaurants here in Athens and let me tell you I get very angry when this happens because I feel that the resaurant does not respect me as a person and as a client. I am sure that this gratin compensated you for the poor meal you had.

Lisa said...

The gratin looks delicious, I love zucchini!

Eliana said...

This gratin looks amazing. I could probabaly enjoy it as a meal all by itself :)

Together We Save said...

That dish looks yummy!!

Tasha said...

This is a similar yet more interesting version of the dish I grew up eating and how my mother introduced me to squash and zucchini as a child.

It sounds like a good way to make up for a lackluster lunch.

Jen_from_NJ said...

What a shame! I hate to go out and spend hard earned money only to be disappointed. Your dinner looks great and was a perfect meal idea to save the day!

Adelina said...

a delightful dish, a beautiful setting indeed, and I ma with you there, de gustubus non est disputandum!

Brian Kesler said...

I may just end up using this recipe to help get rid of my extra zucchini. :) Thanks for the great recipe.

-Brian Kesler

keslerskitchen.blogspot.com

The Blonde Duck said...

If you didn't like it, it had to be dreadful.

RamblingTart said...

What a simple and beautiful dish, Mary. :-) I just love veggie dishes like this. :-)

Mary-Laure said...

I'm a vegetarian and love zucchini so this recipe is perfect for me!

The Paint Splash said...

Maybe just a latte? Would love to just sit and enjoy the setting. Pray you have a blessed week and get to come by for a visit. Debbie

Faith said...

What beautiful pictures! Looks like a charming place to eat lunch, but it's too bad that the food didn't deliver. Your gratin on the other hand looks delicious!

Joy said...

Happy Blue Monday, love the setting in that picture. Looks like the perfect place for lunch.

scrambledhenfruit said...

No shortage of zucchini here- this dish will be perfect. (I love the Gruyere.)

Sarah B. said...

mmmm i have been eating so much zucchini, and i'm glad to find a new way to eat it :) THANKS!

Monet said...

I'm so sorry you had a bad lunch...but you obviously recovered beautifully with this gratin. I would not be a very good reviewer either, so I've yet to give it a try. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this and your recipe!

Debinhawaii said...

This gratin looks perfect for the end of summer--Patricia Wells has such excellent recipes. ;-)

nancy at good food matters said...

For over a year, I have been the restaurant reviewer for our newspaper, and it has been an interesting experience---a very different kind of food writing.
There are positive ways of delivering negative observations. I do believe that you would no trouble rising to the task!

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