Veggies Gratin With A Crispy Golden Parmesan Topping
I’m so excited to share this recipe with you today!! This Veggies Gratin is one of the best side dishes I’ve eaten lately, I just love it!
I’m usually not a big fan of zucchinis and eggplants. I try to eat some regularly but let’s just say, they’re not my favorites veggies. But this recipe might definitively change that! Give me some of that gratin and I’ll eat some every.single.day! The veggies are so tender they melt in your mouth and are packed with flavors (and that cannot be said for every recipes featuring zucchinis and eggplants!). The Parmesan and breadcrumbs topping is delicious, slightly crunchy with a touch of garlic.
This is a three layers gratin: super tender onions, zucchini and eggplant and tomato paste. Zucchinis, eggplants and tomatoes are vegetables (well ok, technically tomato is a fruit…) that contain a lot of water. I highly recommend that you follow the recipe to the T otherwise you’ll end up with a soggy gratin. I tried it with different kinds of tomato sauce, and the one that worked best was tomato paste because it contains the lowest percentage of water. Do not use marinara, tomato purée or crushed tomatoes. You’d be disappointed. The high water content is also the main reason why it bakes for so long. It allows the water to evaporate and deepens the flavors.
I admit this won’t be the fastest recipe you’ll ever try, but you won’t regret the time spent on it. You can absolutely prepare the gratin ahead and reheat it. And it makes delicious leftovers!
Cal: 162.25 - Protein:7.68g - Fat: 7.68g - Carbs: 26.59g - Fiber: 8.46g - Sugar: 10.18g - WW Old Points: 3 points - Point+: 4 points
- 3 medium zucchinis
- 2 medium eggplants
- 10 cups water
- 3 vegetable bouillon cubes (or vegetable stock)
- 1 bouquet garni (=a combo of thym and laurel)
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 large onions (any kind except red)
- 2 cups tomato paste (1 cup + 1 cup)
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar (1/2 tbsp + 1/2 tbsp)
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 tbsp powdered garlic
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- Preheat oven to 300F
- Slice zucchinis. Quartered eggplants and slice each cut. (Do not peal the veggies to make sure they hold together during cooking). Transfer zucchinis and eggplants in a large deep saucepan, add water, crumbled bouillon cube (or vegetable stock. In that case, don’t use water), bouquet garni and mix well. Do not add salt. Cook on high heat. When the water starts boiling (about 15 minutes), count 10 minutes. Drain in a colander and use some paper towel to remove as much water as possible.
- While veggies are cooking, prepare the onions. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Chop onions. Cook onions on high heat for 2 minutes, stirring regularly. Reduce to medium heat. Pour 3 ladles of bouillon from the zucchinis and eggplants on the onions. The onions are ready when the water is fully evaporated.
- Spread the onions on the bottom of a gratin dish (I used a 14x10 dish). Top with half of the vegetables. Spread half of the tomato paste. Drizzle half of balsamic vinegar. Add remaining veggies, then remaining tomato paste, and drizzle with remaining balsamic vinegar.
- Cover with a foil and bake for 1h30. Remove from the oven.
- In a bowl, combine breadcrumbs and garlic powder. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs mixture, then with parmesan. Bake uncovered for another 30 minutes. Broil for 2 minutes (optional - be careful, it burns quickly if you don’t pay attention!)
Do not use another kind of tomato sauce (see above)