Gluten-Free Zucchini Gratin
Serves 6 as a first course, 2 as a light meal
Tasters claim this is the best zucchini dish ever. The secret is sautéing the zucchini before assembling the dish, which evaporates the liquid and heightens the flavor.
- 4 to 6 (1¾-pound) zucchini, green and yellow
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- 1 large (2-ounce) shallot, finely chopped
- 4 tablespoons (1½ ounces) pancetta or unsmoked bacon
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 tablespoons (1½ ounces) dried white breadcrumbs, made from soft white gluten-free sandwich bread, divided
- 4 tablespoons (1½ ounces) grated Parmesan cheese, divided
- 3 large eggs
- Olive oil cooking spray
Heat the oven to 375° F.
Slice half of the zucchini into ⅓-inch thick slices and finely chop the remainder. Blot the slices dry between 2 paper towels. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add half of the sliced zucchini and brown lightly on both sides, 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spatula to a platter and season lightly with salt. Repeat with the remaining slices.
Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan. Stir in the shallots and pancetta. Sauté until the shallots soften, 2 minutes. Add the chopped zucchini and garlic and sauté until softened, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and season lightly with salt and pepper. Stir in 3 tablespoons of the breadcrumbs and 2 tablespoons of the grated Parmesan. Spread out on a plate to hasten cooling.
Beat the eggs in a bowl and stir in the zucchini mixture a little at a time to prevent the eggs from coagulating. Transfer to a lightly greased 8-x-10-inch baking dish. Top with overlapping rows of zucchini slices plus any accumulated juices. Sprinkle with the remaining breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Spray with olive oil. Bake until the surface is crispy and starting to turn brown, about 30 minutes. Cool slightly before serving.
The author of more than a dozen cookbooks to date, Gluten-Free Living Contributing Editor Jackie Mallorca’s titles include The Wheat-Free Cook and Gluten-Free Italian.
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