Thursday, August 6, 2009

Zucchini-Tomato Gratin (South-of-the-Border Style)


This is actually based on a recipe with an Italian flair.
I had planned to make this last night but didn't squeeze it in so tonight I had part of a zucchini that needed to be used up as well as an avocado that needed to be used. I decided the Italian flavours of the original recipe wouldn't work very well with my tomato-cilantro-avocado soup but I could manage switching this up a bit to make it work. Hey, I may be English but I've lived in San Diego for the best part of 20 years. I know Mexican food flavours. :)

Here's the result of my recipe tweaking. It worked out really well and made a nice accompaniment to the soup. The only disappointment was that the big flavours of the cilantro and jalapeno overpowered the mild tomato and zucchini. But, I suppose if you have someone who turns their nose up at tomato and/or zucchini, this may just work out OK for you. ;)

**If you leave off the panko, this is gluten-free.**

Serves 2

Ingredients:
2 tomatoes, sliced
1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
1/2 tsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp. black olives
1/8 cup chopped cilantro
Small amount of jalapeno pepper, chopped (about 1/2 tsp.)
1/8 cup panko
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1/8 cup sharp cheddar, shredded
1/8 cup mozzarella, shredded

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Saute the zucchini until golden.
Mix the panko and oregano in a small bowl then mix in the cheeses.

2. Layer half of the tomato and zucchini slices in a baking pan. Top with half of the garlic, olives, cilantro, jalapeno, and panko mixture. Season with black pepper. Repeat with the remaining tomato and zucchini slices and then the remaining garlic, olives, cilantro, jalapeno, and panko-cheese mix. Add more black pepper if desired. Cover with foil and bake 10 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Reference:
Based on Zucchini-Tomato Gratin from the July /August 2009 issue of Vegetarian Times.

My Changes:
*Used cilantro in place of basil.
*Added jalapeno, panko, oregano.
*Used cheddar and mozzarella mixture in place of Parmesan.
*Used black olives in place of kalamata olives.
*Skipped the step involving salting the tomatoes and zucchini (worked out fine without doing this).

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