Late Summer Vegetable and Goat Cheese Gratin
From Janet Webb, owner J. Webb Wine Merchant
This is a great recipe for using up the end-of-summer garden’s abundance of zucchini, spinach and herbs, and any other colourful veg on hand. Served with a simple crisp salad and some bread, it makes a healthy, simple meal.
2 large leeks, white part, well washed, or onions (or a combo of both), roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1 lb. medium-size zucchini or other squash, thinly sliced
6 basil leaves, stemmed and chopped
3 sprigs Italian parsley, stemmed and chopped
sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
12 small cherry or grape tomatoes
1 red or yellow pepper, oiled, grilled to char the skin, skin and seeds removed, and sliced into thin strips
1 large bunch of spinach or kale, well washed, dried and stems removed
1 c. chèvre, broken into pebble-size pieces
1 c. milk
1/3 c. grated parmesan or similar hard cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a large sauté pan, heat the olive oil, add the leeks/onions and garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes until fragrant and soft. Add the squash, half the basil and parsley, and some salt and pepper. Cook for 5 to 6 minutes on medium-high, stirring, until the squash begins to caramelize and starts to brown.
Transfer the mixture to a buttered 12-inch gratin dish. Distribute the tomatoes and pepper strips evenly throughout the mixture.
Add the spinach or kale to the empty skillet and cook it until it wilts. Remove it, press out the water, and roughly chop it and distribute throughout the other ingredients in the gratin dish. In a bowl, beat the eggs well, then stir in the milk, the chèvre and the remaining herbs. Season with salt and pepper and pour over the vegetables in the gratin dish.
Bake until set and lightly browned on top, about 35 to 40 minutes. Sprinkle the grated parmesan over the gratin and return it to the oven for a few minutes. Allow the gratin to sit for 5 minutes before serving. Serves 4 as a main course with salad and bread.