My Recipe Box

Zucchini & Summer Squash Gratin with Parmesan & Fresh Thyme


Serves six to eight as a side dish, four as a main dish.

For this gratin, use all the interesting green and yellow summer squashes (pattypan, scallop, crookneck, butterstick) you find at the farmers' market.

For the onions:
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 2 medium onions (14 oz. total), thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
To assemble the gratin:
  • 1-1/4 lb. ripe red tomatoes, cored and cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 3/4 lb. (about 2 small) zucchini or other green summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch slices on the bias
  • 3/4 lb. (about 2 small) yellow summer squash or golden zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices on the bias
  • 3 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp. coarse salt
  • 1-1/4 cups freshly grated parmigiano reggiano
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

To cook the onions: In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until limp and golden brown, about 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low if they're browning too quickly. Add the garlic and sauté until soft and fragrant, 1 to 2 minutes Spread the onions and garlic evenly in the bottom of an oiled 2-qt. shallow gratin dish (preferably oval). Let cool.

To assemble the gratin: Heat the oven to 375°F. Put the tomato slices on a shallow plate to drain for a few minutes and then discard the collected juices. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini and squash slices with 1-1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil, 2 Tbs. of the thyme, and 1/2 tsp. of the salt. Reserve half of the cheese for the top of the gratin. Sprinkle 1 Tbs. of the thyme over the onions in the gratin. Starting at one end of the baking dish, lay a row of slightly overlapping tomato slices across the width of the dish and sprinkle with a little of the cheese. Next, lay a row of zucchini, overlapping the tomatoes by two-thirds, and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat with a row of squash, and then repeat rows, sprinkling each with cheese, until the gratin is full.

Season lightly with pepper and the remaining 1/2 tsp. salt. Drizzle the remaining 1-1/2 Tbs. olive oil over all. Combine the reserved cheese with the remaining 1 Tbs. thyme and sprinkle this over the whole gratin. Cook until well-browned all over and the juices have bubbled for a while and reduced considerably, 65 to 70 minutes. Let cool for at least 15 min. before serving.

nutrition information (per serving):
Size : based on eight servings, Calories (kcal): 200, Fat (kcal): 14, Fat Calories (g): 120, Saturated Fat (g): 4, Protein (g): 9, Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8, Carbohydrates (mg): 12, Polyunsaturated Fat (mg): 1, Sodium (g): 540, Cholesterol (g): 10, Fiber (g): 3,

Photo: Mark Ferri

I have made this many times and each group of people have enjoyed and requested the recipe. I have also been asked to "bring it next time"

This is my go-to summer preparation. It's beautiful and so very good. It takes a bit of time to put together but that is time well spent. The base is caramelized onions, and I agree that spending time on this caramelization is important. Add more depth of flavor with sliced mushrooms added toward the end of the caramelization process, cooking long enough to cook off most of the liquid from those mushroom. One of the recipes I make again and again and enjoy it every time.

This was SO good. I was so happy to find a gratin dish with no cream! I think its a little heavy on the oil though, I'm going to cut it in half next time I make it. I didn't have fresh parmesan so I mixed jarred parmesan with a little bit of fresh mozzarella and feta. I can't wait to make it in the summer when the veggies are super fresh!

One of the best recipes ever published in Fine Cooking. Be sure to deeply caramelize the onions as it contributes deep flavor to this dish. A late summer highlight every year.I have made this every year since it was published. Using a two quart gratin dish is asking for a flood in the oven. Use a three quart dish. I use a Emile Henry 9x13.

I have made this recipe several times and it is a crowd favorite. My only comment is that I have followed the volumes for squash and tomatoes as stated in the recipe and have enough left over to make another whole gratin and I use a larger pan than suggested. So unless you want excess squash and tomatoe I suggest cutting volumes for both in half.

A delicious recipe with just one drawback: it takes a couple of hours to complete. For this reason, I prefer to caramelize the onions the day before I assemble and bake the gratin. The tip given below about caramelizing a large quantity of onions in a crockpot is brilliant--if you own a crockpot. I also suggest using a minimal amount of olive oil. Half the oil called for is more than enough; and you can even use less than half and still get an excellent result.

Excellent recipe. I followed it exactly and was very happy with the blend of flavors and consistency of the squash, tomatoes and onions. i might try a layer of large mushrooms the next time I make it. I had squash and tomatoes which I needed to use during summer's bounty. A wonderful way to cook these magnificent veggies at their most plentiful and flavorful.

I have made this many times since it first appeared in issue #33. It is one of our favorites. To save time I use onions that I have caramelized in my crockpot and then kept in the freezer.

This tastes delicious but how come I ended up with over a cup of liquid even after letting it sit of over 30 mins!! WAAAAY too watery and I followed instructions to a T. For all that work I expected better.

Phenomenal recipe. The whole family loves it and it comes out great every time. I mix it up a bit - using different herbs and topping it off with seasoned bread crumbs. I also simplified it a bit and just layered the veggies in my cast iron skillet. Cooking time is the same! Serve it with pasta or just eat it by itself. This recipe is a keeper.

So delicious! It's a great dish to bring to a potluck.

You should show case this dish...everytime I make it, the reviews are fantastic! My family loves it.

Have made this about a dozen times for guests or to take to a covered dish dinner, and it gets raves every time! Truly delicious, even if a wee bit labor intensive.

LOVE this recipe! It sounds kind of ordinary but it is delicious and comes out great everytime.

Have made dish several times. Served to guests and they all asked for the recipe.

This is one of my all-time favorite FC recipes. Delicious combination of flavors and beautiful presentation. I make it often during spring and summer entertaining; it's always a hit!

This recipe is great for entertaining --- especially at the end of summer when the farmers' market is loaded with zucchini and tomatoes!

A terrific's the taste of summer even when it's not! Delicious.

Awesome recipe! I've used it again and again, and it always gets rave reviews!

Great recipe, Susie! I didn't have time to make the carmelized onions, and subbed shredded parmesan instead of parmesan reggiano. It still came out great, and we are looking forward to making it again, with all of the ingredients. This may be a sidedish on the Thanksgiving dinner table. Thank you!

Very good flavour, colour and texture. I added a bread crumb topping mixed with herbs and the parmesan cheese. You can prepare it ahead, but drain excess fluid before cooking.

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