Out of all of the seasons, I love the summer most. Not just because of my lazy poolside days, baseball games, refreshing beverages, or little summer dresses, but because of the abundance and variety of incredible produce. It is something that people in California take for granted. Every year we grow a couple of cherry tomatoes plants in out backyard. My son can hardly wait for them to ripen and as soon as they do he eats them right off of the plant. Sweet, warm, vine ripened tomatoes. Yummmmmm…there is nothing like them. We seem to have a bowl full on our counter all summer long. The other veggie we seem to never get enough of during the summer is zucchini. Zucchini and tomatoes are a wonderful pair, and when you add in some quality parmesan cheese and fresh basil, delish! When I first tried this recipe for zucchini and tomato gratin I knew it was a recipe I would be making all summer long. Serve it up on it’s own with some pasta or as a side with your favorite protein, either way it is a perfect summertime dish.
sweet Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
3 medium zucchini, sliced
1 leek, sliced and thoroughly washed
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 c parmesan cheese
1 1/2 c Italian bread crumbs
1 1/2 c cherry tomatoes
2 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
- Preheat oven to 425º.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in the bottom of large cast iron skillet.
- Separate the onions rings, place them in the bottom of the skillet, and drizzle with a little olive oil.
- Add half of the sliced zucchini, half of the leeks, and all of the garlic to the pan.
- Sprinkle with a 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese and a 3/4 cup of the breadcrumbs.
- Drizzle with additional olive oil.
- Add the remaining zucchini, remaining leeks, and all of the cherry tomatoes to the pan and drizzle with more olive oil.
- Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese and a 3/4 cup of the breadcrumbs.
- Drizzle with a tad more olive oil.
- Bake entire pan in the oven for 25–30 minutes.
- Turn on the broiler and finish the dish off under the broiler for 2–3 minutes or until it is golden brown on top.
- Garnish with fresh basil.
Recipe adapted from Proud Italian Cook.