Zucchini Gratin

Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques

I’ve never eaten at Suzanne Goin’s highly acclaimed West Hollywood restaurant, for which her beautiful book is named. The photos and recipes in this thoughtful collection tell a story I want to hear over and over again. I love how she uses the best of each season’s produce and adds complementary flavors that bring richness without overshadowing the star. This gratin is a terrific example of her ability to do so. Don’t be put off by the long ingredient list. Appropriately enough, this is no Monday evening dinner, but it’s well worth the effort.

  • 2 pounds zucchini and/or summer squash (see tips)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, divided
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 2 teaspoons capers, drained
  • 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup sliced shallots (about 2 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon thyme leaves
  • 1 cup grated Gruyere cheese

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degree F.
  • Trim the squash and slice it 1/8-inch thick, cut on the diagonal. Toss the slices in a large bowl with the salt and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, combine 1 garlic clove, olive oil, oregano, mint, parsley, capers, anchovy paste, pepper and lemon juice in a food processor. Pulse until the garlic is finely chopped and the mixture is smooth.
  • Heat a skillet for 1 minute over medium heat. Add the butter and allow it to melt and become lightly brown. It will have a nutty scent and flecks of golden brown when it’s ready. Remove it from the heat and allow it to cool slightly before tossing it with the breadcrumbs.
  • Drain the squash (it will have released some of its water, which will be sitting in the bottom of the bowl) and transfer it to a large bowl. Toss it with the shallots, the remaining 2 garlic cloves (pressed), thyme and the olive oil herb mixture. Add the cheese and half of the buttered bread crumbs. Toss again, then place into a glass baking dish. Spread the remaining breadcrumbs over the top and bake for 35 minutes, or until squash is tender and the bread crumb top is crisp and brown. Serve warm.
  • Quick Tips
  • 1. I used 2 large zucchini and 1 small yellow squash.
  • 2. To make the breadcrumbs, I cut the crusts off 7 slices of bread and gave them a quick whir in the food processor. I would love to try this recipe again using sourdough breadcrumbs. How yummy would that be?
  • 3. This dish is very hot when it comes out of the oven! Something about zucchini makes it retain its heat for quite a while, so be careful not to burn yourself.
  • 4. Though I included this recipe in my listing of vegetarian recipes, the anchovy paste must be omitted to make it truly vegetarian. Consider substituting a little chopped black olive in its place. I’ve used them in place of anchovies in the past with excellent results.

Preparation time: 45 minute(s)

Cooking time: 45 minute(s)

Number of servings (yield): 4

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