Friday, 14 June 2013


“Go vegetable heavy. Reverse the psychology of your plate by making meat the side dish and vegetables the main course.” Bobby Flay

Vegetarianism has been proven to be by much research to be a healthful eating option, and even if one is not a fully committed vegetarian, it is worthwhile reducing one’s meat intake to a minimum. Nowadays, there is a wide variety of fresh vegetables available throughout the year and one can eat a wonderful array of seasonal produce cooked in an interesting manner. As well as being healthful, vegetarian dishes can be tasty and appealing to the eye.

Vegetarian Thyme Gratin

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
500 g ripe red tomatoes, cut into 0.5 cm slices
2 green zucchini, cut diagonally into 0.5 slices
2 golden zucchini, cut diagonally into 0.5 slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1-1/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Freshly ground black pepper to taste 

In a medium frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring frequently, until 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-litre, oval shallow gratin dish and let cool.
Heat the oven to 190˚C. Put the tomato slices on a shallow plate to drain for a few minutes and then discard the collected juices. Sprinkle with some thyme. Place in an oiled baking pan and put into the oven until they are soft. You may turn them over to ensure they are done well, then lay aside.
In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini and squash slices with 1-1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil, some thyme, and 1/2 teaspoon of the salt. Reserve half of the cheese for the top of the gratin.

Spread the zucchini on an oiled baking dish and bake until they begin to shrivel – don’t cook right through. Repeat until all zucchini is prepared and lay aside.
Sprinkle some thyme over the onions in the gratin. Starting at one end of the baking dish, carefully 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 green zucchini, overlapping the tomatoes by two-thirds, and sprinkle with cheese. Repeat with a row of golden zucchini, 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 olive oil over all. Combine the reserved cheese and breadcrumbs with a little 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, 55 to 60 min. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before serving.
This post is part of the Food Friday meme,
and also part of the Food Trip Friday meme.


  1. This is one of my favourites, all the better because it is made in one pan. Anything that reduces the number of pots to be cleaned ;)

    Can other vegetables replace or be added to the zucchini? I am thinking of perhaps cauliflower, potato or eggplant?

  2. would love to try this! zucchini is terribly expensive around here... most probably need to change it to something cheaper, maybe potatoes. :)

    appreciate much your taking the time to share and link over at Food Friday, Nick
    enjoy the rest of the week!