Simple and unassuming French country cooking; fresh zucchini and the comforting flavor of homemade chicken or vegetable broth make it a perfect comfort food for hot summer days. Crème fraîche and cheese round up the dish and give it a nice “melt”.
Keep in mind:
- Most of the flavor comes from the broth, so make sure to use only very good quality chicken or vegetable broth, best if organic. Let it simmer on the side while preparing the dish.
- To cut the zucchini evenly thin it is best to use a mandoline slicer.
- When arranging the gratin in the gratin dish, make sure to spread it evenly and not too thick. The zucchini should be on top, if possible.
Zucchini au GratinCourse: SidesCuisine: FrenchDifficulty: Simple
A simple and unassuming example of French country cooking.
2 tablespoons olive oil + extra for brushing the gratin dish
1 large onion (or 2 small ones), peeled and sliced into very thin rings
180 g / 1 cup Basmati rice
5 – 6 middle-sized zucchini, thinly sliced
500 ml / 2 cups hot chicken or vegetable broth, best if organic
4 heaping tablespoons Crème fraîche
150 g Emmentaler or Cheddar, shredded
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 190C / 374F. Adjust the oven rack to a middle position. In a large pan heat up the olive oil, add onions and steam until translucent and soft over medium heat, stirring occasionally.
- Add zucchini and rice, pour in the broth and stir well. Cook everything over high heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the mixture gets too thick, add more broth. Remove pan from the stove, stir in Crème fraîche and 2/3 of the cheese, and season with salt and pepper.
- Lightly brush a large gratin dish with olive oil. Transfer the gratin into the prepared dish and spread evenly. The zucchini should be on top if possible. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.
- Bake the gratin for 40 minutes, until it’s slightly browned on top and the rice has absorbed most of the liquid. Serve with a side of fresh, green salad or with grilled meats or fish.
- Since most of the flavor comes from the broth make sure to use only very good quality chicken or vegetable broth.