Zucchini and Tomato Gratin

Zucchini Gratin

This is a recipe from the archives that I decided to dust off and pull forward to help you use up all the delicious zucchini and tomatoes that I hope you’re inundated with. Enjoy!

It’s still hot here, but the nights are cooling down enough that I’m starting to believe that I might have actually made it through another summer. By the end of August in Fresno, it starts to feels like the summer will never end.  School starts, Halloween decorations appear in stores, friends in other parts of the country start talking about pumpkin this and maple that, but the heat is still stifling and it’s hard to even imagine that jeans and sweaters will ever be needed again.  But it’s September now and something has started to change.  The daytime temperatures are in the 90’s rather than 100’s and if I sleep with a window open and the fan on, I am actually comfortable under a blanket at night instead of just a sheet.  Fall might not be here yet, but at least the end of summer is in sight.  I’ll take what I can get.

I feel like this is a good summer to fall transition recipe.  It uses up some late summer zucchini and tomatoes, but it’s a warm dish, so those of you who are experiencing cooler temperatures can cozy up to your oven for this one.  I actually prefer to eat this zucchini gratin cold, or at room temperature, so I turned my oven on this morning before the afternoon sun had a chance to make me change my mind.

When I think of a gratin, I think of something rich and creamy and cheesy. But this one has no butter, no cream, no buttered crumbs, and really, very little cheese.  It may not be what I think of as a true gratin, but it’s delicious and healthy and I know you’re gonna love it.

I got the recipe from my grandmother and really have no idea where it came from.  It’s not a terribly old recipe because the star ingredient is Tabasco jalapeno sauce, and that ingredient hasn’t always been around.  But regardless of where it came from, or when, it’s been a family favorite for years, and it’s going to stay in my book of family recipes.

Just one word about Tabasco before I continue with the recipe.  A few of you might have read that and thought, “uh, what?”  But the Tabasco jalapeno flavor goes perfectly with the olive oil, garlic and basil.  I’m not sure what it is about the flavor combination, but the results are fantastic.  I would even use it as a salad dressing.  The green pepper sauce is much milder than the red stuff, so don’t worry about heat.  If you have to buy a bottle just for this recipe, don’t worry, it’s great sprinkled on all kinds of things.  Try it on some eggs or in your next quesadilla.  Delicious.

The best thing about this gratin is that it’s really easy.  You just chop a few vegetables, toss everything together and throw it in the oven.  You don’t have to worry about perfect slices, you don’t have to arrange anything in a pattern and there is no layering involved.  Just chop, toss and go.  The second best thing about this recipe is the way your house smells while it’s in the oven.  For such a simple dish, it packs a powerful olfactory punch.  I know because the smell of it is killing me as I write this.

Zucchini and Tomato Gratin

2 large zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
1 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/2-inch slices
3 small tomatoes, cut into wedges*
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons Tabasco green pepper sauce**
1 tablespoon fresh chopped basil***
1 t. salt
1/4 – 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
2. In a large bowl, toss together all ingredients except the parmesan cheese.
3. Pour zucchini mixture into a medium sized casserole dish, top with grated parmesan cheese
4. Bake, uncovered, in the preheated 425 degree oven for 30 minutes, or until zucchini is tender.
5.  Serve warm, at room temperature, or cold.

Recipe Notes: *Use whatever type of tomatoes you would like. Even large cherry tomatoes, halved, would be great in this dish (You would probably use 8-10).  **It is important that you use the green Tabasco sauce rather than the other kinds, it adds a wonderful flavor! ***You may substitute 1 teaspoon dried basil for the fresh if necessary.

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32 Comments
  1. Alyce

    Looks interesting! Might have to try that…I am sure its much cooler here than there though. I am going to be making soup this weekend.

    1:41 pm  Sep 26th, 2008
  2. Adrian

    Yum! This looks awesome – akin to Ratatouille! Plus I’m always wondering what to do with Zucchini besides the usual…Tabasco Sauce is a good idea!

    1:46 pm  Sep 26th, 2008
  3. Kalyn

    Sounds fabulous. I absolutely love that green Tabasco sauce.

    2:07 pm  Sep 26th, 2008
  4. Nicole

    Alyce: Soup sound good! I’ll be checking your blog for it!
    Adrian: Thanks! Yes, it’s always nice to have new zucchini recipes.
    Kalyn: Isn’t it good? My dad puts the red tabasco on everything but I prefer the jalapeno. Has a great flavor!

    2:16 pm  Sep 26th, 2008
  5. maggie

    Looks delicious – a perfect way to use up those summer veggies.

    4:37 pm  Sep 26th, 2008
  6. Karina

    Nicole- Your gratin looks easy and delicious. And perfect for this season of transition. I love squash of all kinds. With Tabasco? Inspired!

    5:37 pm  Sep 26th, 2008
  7. sally kerr-dineen

    NIcole – That’s a great meld of summer favorites! As you said, easy, tasty and smells great.

    7:03 pm  Sep 26th, 2008
  8. Ruby

    My Mom has a very similar recipe, but she sautes onions and garlic in it. She also warms it in a crockpot with monterey jack cheese on top. Her coworkers special request it for their potlucks. It looks yummy Nicole! (quick note, of course my Mom only uses squash from her garden).

    11:17 pm  Sep 26th, 2008
  9. patsyk

    I love the sound of this recipe… I hope I find some great veggies at the market tomorrow so I can give this a try!

    9:40 am  Sep 27th, 2008
  10. CindyK

    I’ve made a variation of that for years and years but always wanted an ingredient to ‘zing’ it up abit- I think the green tabasco will be the flavour I’ve been looking for! Thanx, Nicole!

    10:15 am  Sep 28th, 2008
  11. Shivapriya

    Hey Nicole,

    I hope you are all settled in your new home. This dish looks really pleasing. Perfect fall dish. I’m going to make is soon and will let you know.

    12:45 pm  Sep 28th, 2008
  12. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    Autumn isn’t happening here in Rhode Island, either — the temperature is over 70 today, so it definitely feels like zucchini and tomato time.

    1:13 pm  Sep 28th, 2008
  13. aissa galoso

    sounds tasty and healthy, too!

    9:30 am  Oct 3rd, 2008
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    4:59 pm  Jan 8th, 2009
  16. Katie

    I’ve made this twice in the last week, and I can’t get enough!! I had to use the red Tabasco because it’s all that I had on hand, but I definitely plan on trying it out with the green kind. I have a feeling that I’ll be making this many more times throughout the summer.

    6:44 pm  Jun 2nd, 2009
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  21. Sippitysup

    It was slow for tomatoes this year, butzukes are everywhere. GREG

    1:43 pm  Sep 18th, 2011
  22. Jenny @ Savour the Senses

    Haha apparently everybody is experiencing the same feeling! I just posted a zucchini and tomato gratin recipe too! I like your addition of Tabasco, I love anything spicy. Check out my post at http://savourthesensesblog.com/zucchini-tomato-gratin/

    6:09 pm  Sep 18th, 2011
  23. Neil | Butterfield

    Looks fantastic! I agree that this is a superb way to get in extra vegetables.

    1:28 am  Sep 19th, 2011
  24. Kalyn

    So glad you’re featuring this again; I have to try it!

    9:02 am  Sep 19th, 2011
  25. Brooke

    I want to grow this gratin in my garden. Please tell me I’ll be able to find cheese seeds.

    11:27 am  Sep 19th, 2011
  26. Samantha

    This looks terrific! I love that you used Tabasco green sauce. I’m a sucker for all their sauces, my favorite being the chipotle kind, but I digress. The only thing I’d add is a fried egg on top to make it a vegetarian main course. Glad the weather is ‘cooling’ a bit in Fresno!

    2:52 pm  Sep 19th, 2011
  27. Sue/the view from great island

    I just love trying vintage recipes, and this one looks great. I’m a hot sauce fan, but strangely I’ve never tried the green tabasco, so this is my chance.

    1:56 pm  Sep 21st, 2011
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  29. Richard Blaine

    That is just such a nice and lovely way to take boring veggies that kids would not normally eat and rev them up a bit to take to a new level. Go figure! Adding flavor to veggies! Who woulda’ thought!

    Looks great Nicole! Nice and flavorful!

    2:36 pm  Sep 22nd, 2011
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