This zucchini gratin is a flavorful side dish casserole with extra richness from the cheddar cheese. A gratin is always a nice and relatively easy way to make a fancy side dish out of everyday vegetables. If you—or your neighbors—have an abundance of garden-fresh zucchini, this is an excellent way to use it.
The casserole is a good choice for a holiday meal or Sunday dinner, and it is a nice replacement for scalloped potatoes or mashed potatoes.
The gratin is versatile as well. Make it with or without the crumbled cooked bacon or add even more richness with half-in-half or light cream instead of the milk. For a touch of garlic flavor, add about 1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic to the skillet along with the zucchini. For the topping, instead of all cheddar, feel free to use a combination of cheddar and mozzarella cheese or another kind of melting cheese. Use part or all yellow summer squash if that's what you have on hand.
- 8 tablespoons butter (divided)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 2 pounds zucchini, sliced (approximately 6 cups)
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard powder
- Black pepper (to taste)
- Optional: pinch nutmeg
- Optional: 4 strips bacon (cooked until crisp, drained and crumbled)
- 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (soft, fresh)
- Heat the oven to 350 F.
- Butter a 1 1/2-quart baking dish.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter. Add the chopped onion and saute, stirring, until it is tender and translucent.
- Add the sliced zucchini to the skillet and reduce the heat to low; cover the pan and cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just tender. Remove the vegetables to a bowl with a slotted spoon and set aside.
- Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the skillet and melt over medium-low heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk to the flour and butter roux and continue cooking until thickened, stirring constantly. Add the kosher salt, mustard powder, and freshly ground black pepper, along with a dash of nutmeg, if desired.
- Taste the sauce and adjust the seasonings, as needed.
- There will be some excess liquid from the cooked zucchini, so use a slotted spoon to transfer the zucchini and onions back to the skillet. Stir the mixture gently to coat the zucchini with the sauce.
- Turn the zucchini and sauce mixture into the prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheese over the casserole along with the cooked crumbled bacon, if using.
- Melt the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and toss with the breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the zucchini casserole.
- Bake the gratin in the preheated oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the topping is browned and the casserole is bubbling around the edges.
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||28 g|
|Saturated Fat||15 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||8 g|
|Dietary Fiber||3 g|