Make Ahead

Mom's Famous Zucchini Gratin

June 30, 2010
Photo by Julia Gartland
Author Notes

I am the mom, and this is one of my daughter's favorite recipes that I created one summer when she was in high school (it was the only way I could entice my family to eat zucchini!). She later used it in her college senior project on the history of women as cooks, and served it as part of her project presentation. The crème fraîche is a key ingredient, along with the mix of squashes and grated cheeses. A mix of Gruyère and Parmesan also works well. —JoanG

Test Kitchen Notes

JoanG's gratin method—all in one pan, without the fuss of layering—is brilliant. Rosemary and three different wings of the onion family roast together with the squash and then the crunchy, cheesy topping is added just for the last 20 minutes. Scallions add intrigue to the standard flavors of shallot and garlic (Note: I'd recommend going for smaller than 1-inch lengths unless you're feeling especially rustic). And if you prefer a saucier gratin, consider upping the creme fraîche. - Kristen —The Editors

  • Serves 6 to 8
  • 8 to 10 baby or small yellow squash and zucchini (or 3 medium-sized) sliced into 1/4-inch-thick rounds
  • 6 scallions, trimmed and cut into 1-inch lengths
  • 1 large shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, leaves only
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 tablespoons crème fraîche
  • 2 slices of good whole-wheat toast, crumbled
  • 3/4 cup grated Swiss and Manchego cheese, mixed together
  • Freshly ground pepper
In This Recipe
  1. Place first five ingredients (squash through rosemary) in a buttered gratin pan.
  2. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Toss until everything is coated.
  3. Bake at 375° F for 30 to 40 minutes. Squash should be tender but not completely limp.
  4. Take the pan out from the oven and toss squash again. Top with with dollops of crème fraîche, then sprinkle on the breadcrumbs and the shredded cheese.
  5. Drizzle the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Return pan to oven and bake until the crust is nicely browned and crisp, about 20 minutes.

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I love food! I love to cook, eat, read about food, write about food, and enjoy meals with friends and family. I have been writing a food memoir for the past decade and am just about done! I epsecially love to create recipes using seasonal and local produce. I love to travel and wherever I go I shop at markets, cook, and try to take a cooking class.