A gratin is a dish topped with a golden browned crust of breadcrumbs and/or melted cheese. In France, gratins are generally made with potatoes. This Easy Make Ahead Zucchini Gratin is an amazing deviation which will have you coming back for more!
When I got home from work, the proverbial question arose – “What’s for dinner?” Given that there’s a major hurricane that could impact us within the week, I thought about making something that could be frozen for hurricane ready meals. The Master Taste Tester suggested instead that we have the leftover Oklahoma Fried Onion Burgers. I thought great and then remembered that I had some zucchini that needed to be used – thus the Easy Make Ahead Zucchini Gratin was born! All through dinner, the Master Taste Tester kept commenting on how good it was – the ultimate compliment!
Ingredients for Easy Make Ahead Zucchini Gratin:
I used the following ingredients: Grated Gruyère cheese, Panko breadcrumbs, zucchini, onion, Kosher salt, unsalted butter, freshly ground black pepper, freshly ground nutmeg, all-purpose flour, and milk.
Making the Easy Make Ahead Zucchini Gratin:
I started by combining the Gruyère cheese and Panko breadcrumbs in a small bowl.
Then, I grated the zucchini and onion in my food processor. I transferred the zucchini and onion to a wire mesh strainer set over a bowl and sprinkled on some salt. The idea here was to remove as much of the liquid as possible from both the zucchini and the onion. After 30 minutes, I placed the grated zucchini and onion in a paper towel and squeezed as much liquid as possible from them. I was amazed that I ended up with about a cup of liquid! This is significant because the dish would have otherwise been incredibly watery had the liquid not been removed!
I heated unsalted butter in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until it was foaming. Then, I added the squeezed zucchini and onion and cooked it for about 5 minutes until it was just tender. I stirred in the remaining salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Next, I added the flour and stirred the mixture to combine everything. After about a minute, I added the milk and stirred the mixture until it was thickened and bubbly.
I transferred the zucchini mixture to a baking dish and topped it with the Gruyère/Panko mixture. Finally, I dotted it with some additional unsalted butter. At this point, I could have refrigerated the gratin for a later use.
Instead, I popped the zucchini into a preheated 400° F oven for about 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, it was bubbling hot and golden brown. Yum!