Saturday, June 22, 2013

Day 1: Potato, Zucchini and Tomato Gratin

I didn't start with chocolate cake after all.  When I got home last night, I decided we needed something to go along with our leftovers, and made another on of the 366 recipes Jesse sent me: Martha Stewart's potato, zucchini and tomato gratin.  It looked good on paper, and I'm up for anything gratin.

It was everything I was looking for in a zucchini recipe.  Simple and flavorful with a rustic elegance. With only five ingredients plus the seasonings, it profiles the vegetables.  Spread olive oil and minced garlic clove in a gratin pan.  Cut the vegetables as thin as possible and layer in the pan.  Top with some salt, pepper, thyme and a little more olive oil.  Sprinkle it with finely grated cheese, bake it for about a hour and you're done.

A mandolin would have made the slicing faster, but I still haven't bought one.  Even so, it took me only fifteen minutes to cut the vegetables.  I cut an entire potato, before I realized that the recipe said peeled.  I almost left it, but then decided that that Martha person probably knows what she's talking about and there's no point in messing with the recipe the first time.  Next time I'll try it with the peel, just to see.  I can't imagine it makes that big of a difference.

The soft potato and sweet tomatoes were wonderful foils for the somewhat bitter zucchini.  And sliced thin, the edges crisped up beautifully.  I used a extra-sharp cheddar cheese and thought it was just right.  The recipe says to serve immediately.  I can't tell you how leftovers would fare, because we ate the whole thing.

The only change I suggest is seasoning the vegetables before layering them in the gratin pan like Chef Keller does in his confit byaldi.  I thought that the bottom layers were bland, and we ended up adding extra seasoning.  Otherwise, it was a perfect beginning to the zucchini challenge!

Oh, and for anyone who has ever despaired over food that doesn't look like the picture: right after I took that picture, I set that plate down in front of Matt.  While he was eating it, I uploaded the pictures to my computer.  He looked over and said, "Ooh, what's that?  It looks amazing!"

I said, "That's what you're eating."

He looked at the food, looked back at the picture, and said, "Oh."

So my food doesn't even look like my own picture!  Go figure.

Potato, Zucchini and Tomato Gratin
from Martha Stewart

5 teaspoons olive oil
1 clove of garlic, minced (recipe calls for 2, but I like my garlic in moderation)
1 lb yukon gold potatoes, peeled
1 medium zucchini (or in my case 1/2 a huge zucchini)
2 tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon thyme (I used dried)
2 ounces finely grated cheddar cheese

Set oven to 350.  Spread 1 teaspoon of olive oil and in the bottom of a gratin pan.  Thinly slice zucchini, potato and tomato; season with salt and pepper before layering in the prepared gratin pan. Drizzle remaining 4 teaspoons of oil and sprinkle with thyme.  Add grated cheese.  Bake covered for 35-45 (40 for me) until potatoes are tender.  Remove cover and bake for 25 minutes more or until cheese is brown.  Serve immediately.


  1. This looks really delicious. I'm going to pin it just in case someone with an overabundance of zucchini finds me. Thanks!

    1. It's my favorite thing I've made so far. Thank you for pinning!


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