I saw this recipe for zucchini rice gratin a couple weeks ago and it sounded so good. How can you go wrong with roasted vegetables, cheese, and rice? Answer: you can’t.
I’m always looking for new sides and if they do double-duty (starch and veg), even better. I stayed pretty true to the recipe, but cut the amount of oil. I felt like 6.5 Tbsp. was just unnecessary so I basically ended up using less than 1/3 of the oil and it was still great. I modified a few other ingredients slightly, and the process a little, too, to make for a little less pots/cleanup.
The eggs make this really creamy and also set really well. If I weren’t so excited to eat it, I might have actually been able to remove something that resembled more of a slice than a pile of rice and vegetables. 🙂 Tom and I both loved this. The roasted vegetables are so flavorful and the rice is full of creamy, cheesy goodness.
This claims to serve 4-6 but I would definitely lean toward 4. Six would be pushing it. I made this in a round 2 qt. casserole but as you can see I should have used a shallower pan. I think a deep dish pie plate would be a perfect size for something like this. It’s also a little time-consuming for a side, but in my opinion, it’s worth it, especially since most of the time is inactive.
I served this with a simply seasoned pan-fried pork chop. Gourmet says you can eat this as a main course, and I would tend to agree. I did have the leftovers (and only the leftovers) for lunch the next day. But, if I were serving this as a vegetarian main, I’d probably increase both the amount of rice and maybe add some roasted eggplant to bulk it up a bit.
Update: I have also made this as a main dish, doubling the recipe and adding shredded chicken.
Zucchini Rice Gratin
adapted from Gourmet
Serves 4 as a side
2 large zucchinis, sliced
2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 onion, cut in half and then sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup uncooked rice
2/3 cup low-sodium chicken broth
2 large eggs
1/2 cup pecorino romano, divided
2 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 450. In a large bowl, toss the sliced zucchini with 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place the slices on a baking sheet. Then, in the same bowl (why not?), toss the sliced tomatoes with 1 tsp. olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast the zucchini on the upper rack in the oven for about 20 minutes and the tomatoes on the lower rack for 10 minutes. Flip them once during roasting. Leave the oven on.
Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp. olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onions and some salt and cook over low heat for a couple minutes before adding the minced garlic. Cover and cook on low heat for about 20 minutes until the onions are soft and slightly caramelized.
Add the rice to the onion mixture and stir a few times. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer over low heat until the rice is cooked.
Beat your 2 eggs lightly (hey, why not use the same bowl as before?) and then add the rice. Be sure the rice has cooled slightly so you don’t get scrambled eggs. Stir in 1/4 cup of the romano, 1.5 tsp. oil, and the thyme. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place half the rice mixture in a shallow baking dish or pie pan. Place half of the roasted zucchini over the rice. Top with the remaining rice and then finish off with the remaning zuchini, the roasted tomatoes, and the remaining parmesan cheese. Bake until set and cheese has melted, about 20 minutes.
Nutritional Information Per Serving: Calories: 248 / Fat: 13g / Saturated Fat: 4g / Carbs: 22g / Fiber: 2.8g / Protein: 11g