Zucchini and Potato Gratin
Did you know that 5,424 words start with the letter Z? My personal favorite is Zucchini, which usually appears overabundantly each summer. Words such as Zam, Zaggle, and Zaguan come close, but you cannot craft an utterly delicious gratin out of them.
This gratin (traditionally a baked dish with a browned crust of breadcrumbs or cheese) comes together quickly with a few staples that are easy to make or source from your local grocer. We're using zucchini and yukon gold potatoes today, but you can vary the vegetables per your taste, as always.
The basil oil and vegan parmesan add savory flavor, but the real star of this gratin is Miyoko's liquid pizza mozzarella — WOW! It melts, bubbles, and stretches to make this gratin extra delicious! For those wanting an extra challenge, homemade tofu chorizo pairs unusually well with the gratin.
Note – A good baking dish is a worthwhile investment . I use a two quart French porcelain baking dish from @pillivuyt.porcelaine. Pillivuyt porcelain baker can be found in the US at @williamssonoma
Preheat the over to 375˚
Make the basil oil – In a large saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add the basil and spinach leaves and blanch for 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out the water. Add the olive oil to a high speed blender. Add the blanched basil and spinach to the blender and purée for 1 minute until smooth. Strain the mixture through cheesecloth.
Make the cashew Parmesan – Combine the blanched almond flour, nutritional yeast and salt in a small bowl.
Make the tofu chorizo – Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil and vegan butter. Add the crumbled tofu and cook, stirring ofter for 10 minutes, until browned. Add the chorizo powder and tamari and cook for 3-5 more minutes.
Assemble the gratin – Rub an 8″ gratin dish with olive oil.
Starting with the zucchini, create the first layer, slightly overlapping the slices. Layer the potato slices over the zucchini. Sprinkle with some cashew Parmesan. Drizzle with a little basil oil. Season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with a large spoonful of tofu crumbles. Drizzle with a little Miyoko’s liquid mozzarella.
Repeat the layering until the gratin dish is full, finishing on a layer of zucchini. Cover with foil and bake for 1 hour until the vegetables are tender. Uncover and pour about 1/2 cup of Miyoko’s liquid mozzarella over the gratin. Return to the over and bake until the cheese is browned and bubbling.
Let the gratin rest for 5 minutes. Divide between bowls and serve with basil oil, the remaining cashew Parmesan and chili oil, if desired.
serves 4 - 6
- ⅔ cup olive oil
- one large handful of basil leaves
- one large handful baby spinach
- ½ cup blanched almond flour
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- ½ tsp sea salt
- ½ block of extra firm tofu, (about 8 oz) crumbled
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- 2 tsp chorizo seasoning
- 1 tbsp tamari
- 5 medium zucchini, thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 10 small yukon gold potatoes, thinly sliced on a mandolin
- 3 scallions, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 bottle of Miyoko’s liquid pizza mozzarella