Zucchini, potato and fresh herbs gratin
This dish relies on fresh herbs for its explosion of flavor. The fresh herbs also pack lots of nutritional value—they’re a powerhouse of phytochemicals and antioxidants, and a great addition to your healthy diet. Use new potatoes and very fresh zucchini (no need to peei if they’re so) for best results.
• 4-5 zucchini, unpeeled if very fresh and perfect, and cut into ¼ -inch slices
• 8-10 small potatoes, peeled or unpeeled depending on condition, very thinly sliced (can be done with a mandoline or a food processor)
• ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
For the sauce:
• 1 cup of mixed fresh herbs—tarragon, parsley, chives, oregano, thyme and basil are good options; be creative, but use more of the mild herbs, and less of the more potent oregano and thyme
• 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 1 clove garlic
• A pinch of hot pepper flakes
• Salt and pepper to taste, walnuts (optional)
• Heat the oven to 350 degrees F.
• Prepare the sauce. If you have a food processor, pulse all ingredients to a course grind. Otherwise, chip all dry ingredients as finely as you can, and mix with the olive oil and spices.
• Mix all ingredients, taste the zucchini and correct the seasoning.
• Brush some olive oil on an oven-safe baking or gratin dish, and transfer the zucchini potato mix. Top with walnuts (optional), salt and pepper to taste.
• Transfer to the oven, and bake for 50-60 minutes, until potatoes are well-softened. If the top darkens too much, and the potatoes aren’t yet soft, cover with tin foil and bake some more.
Serve immediately – serves 6-10