July 5, 2013
Zucchini Gratin

zucchini

Zucchini = Summertime

Well, along with tomatoes, salads, and berries. But, for anyone with a garden, zucchini is the symbol of summer.

While city living doesn’t allow for acres of farmland, it does allow for farmer’s markets pretty much any morning of the week. I totally cherish my Sunday market time. Nice walk, stopping for coffee on the way, and letting the produce inspire our weekly meals.

Busy weekends don’t always afford the slowness of market Sundays, but last week we went with the intention of one thing: zucchini. I love  the simplicity of zucchini; and am always thankful when friends with gardens bring over excess bags. I can eat my body weight in roasted zucchini and have a new fondness for raw zucchini pasta.

This time though, I wanted to try my lighten up a gratin. Much healthier than traditional cheese-based layers, this dish tops sliced zucchini and summer tomatoes with basil cashew-cream and a nutty gratin topping.

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Ingredients:

Zucchini Gratin:
1 lb. zucchini, about 3 medium size, thinly sliced
1 tomato, thinly sliced
Basil Cashew Creme, recipe below
Almond Parmesan, recipe below

Almond Parmesan, this will make more than you need so refrigerate the rest and use on everything!
1 cup almonds
2 cloves garlic
1 heaping tbsp. nutritional yeast
pinch salt/pepper

Basil Cashew Creme:

1/2 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 30 minutes
1 large handful basil, about 1 cup loosly packed
1 clove garlic
pinch salt/pepper
Water -1/2 cup -1 cup, depending how strong your blender is.

Start by making the basil-cashew creme. In a blender, magic bullet, or food processor combine the drained cashews, basil, garlic, salt pepper. Let process until a paste forms and slowly drizzle in the water. Stop when it reaches the consistency of ranch-dressing. You want it to be loose enough to drizzle over the zucchini, but not too watery.

Clean the blender of food processor and add the almonds, garlic, nutritional yeast, and salt for the Almond-Parmasan. Pulse until a fine crumb forms.

Layer the thinly sliced zucchini and tomato in a glass baking dish. Drizzle on the basil cream and top with almond parmesan.

Place in a 350° F oven for 30-35 minutes until the top is slightly browned and zucchini is cooked through.

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Meet Alex Caspero

Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, Plant-Based Chef and Yoga Instructor. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.

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