Monday, 3 September 2012

Zucchini/Tomato Rice Gratin

Nearly every time I read somebody's blog post about a recipe... I want to make it. This is a challenge because there are TOO MANY RECIPES AND NOT ENOUGH TIME! This is one of the rare dishes that I actually did end up making after reading it on one of my fave-food-blogs!

It was one of those awesome moments where I thought, this looks delish, and I have all of the ingredients!! And my family was impressed that I managed to do something delicious with that tub of cooked rice in the back of the fridge. (I'm trying to get better at using up the stuff we already have on hand, rather than buying new ingredients all the time.)

The only real reason I adapted this recipe is because I:
  1. Had a small tub of pre-cooked rice chillin' in the fridge
  2. Did not have enough garlic on hand!
  3. Had some yellow zucchini AND green from the farmer's market... and I thought the red green and yellow looked so pretty together.

Zucchini & Tomato Rice Gratin
Recipe only slightly adapted from Smitten Kitchen

  • About 1 to 2 cups (no need to be too precise) of already cooked rice (Or, the original recipe tells you to cook up 1/3 cup uncooked rice)
  • olive oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini (use all yellow, all green, a mix, or whateva!) sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 2 eggs, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
If you are using uncooked rice, cook it now! Then set it aside.
Spread a tbsp or so of olive oil into two oven proof dishes/pans. Lay out your zucchini and tomatoes in the pans, and season them with salt and pepper.
Roast the veggies at 450 (425 for my hot oven): put the zucchini in for 10 minutes, take it out and flip it, then put it back in along with the tomatoes for another 10 minutes. If this was most likely confusing: Roast zucchini for 20 minutes, roast tomatoes for 10 minutes. (no need to bother flipping the tomatoes halfway through their cooking time.)

MEANWHILE: Heat a large skillet over medium heat, and heat about 2 tbsp olive oil. Once hot, add your sliced onions, garlic and a sprinkle of salt. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook until onions get all limpy. Yum. Stir occasionally. This takes about 15-20 minutes... perfect to do whilst waiting for all those roasting veggies!

In a bowl, combine your cooked rice, eggs, thyme, half of the grated parmesan and about 1/2 tbsp olive oil. When your onion mixture is cooked, add this to the bowl along with some fresh ground pepper and stir to mix everything together.

Grease a 2-quart baking dish with a bit of olive oil, and spread half of the rice mixture into the dish. Next, layer half of the zucchini. Repeat! Now, layer the tomato slices on top, and sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese over it all.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the dish is set and tomato edges get all toasty.

Eat it and love it!

I totally want to try this using different kinds of rice, thinking maybe a brown rice would be awfully tasty.

<3 Larissa

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