Make Zucchini au Gratin Like Julia Child

Zucchini au Gratin

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I have another Julia Child recipe for you today, as we continue her 100th birthday celebration here on PBS Food (#CookForJulia). And did you know yesterday was National Zucchini Day? Let the celebrating commence!

If there’s one thing I know for certain about Julia’s recipes, it’s that they contain butter. And lots of it. This delicious vegetable side dish is no exception! Don’t get me wrong though—I am definitely not complaining over here. This zucchini au gratin was one of the best veggie sides I have ever tasted as a result.

Zucchini au Gratin

Zucchini au gratin is pretty similar to its better-known cousin, potatoes au gratin. In both dishes, the vegetables are cooked and tossed in a creamy velouté sauce then baked until bubbly and golden. And friends? Velouté sauce is not to be feared. Velouté sauce is to be enjoyed and loved! It’s made with milk and thickened with roux, kind of like the base for macaroni and cheese.

Speaking of macaroni and cheese, that is exactly what this zucchini au gratin recipe reminds me of! Delicious macaroni and cheese made with zucchini instead of noodles and topped with lots of Parmesan before baking.

Zucchini au Gratin

Enjoy this alongside some roast chicken or steak this week! I just know you’ll love it as much as I do (and as a result, won’t be able to stop eating it—beware!).

Zucchini au Gratin

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Similar to potatoes au gratin, get ready to cook and toss some vegetables until the parmesan in this zucchini au gratin recipe is baked and bubbly. Jenna Weber shares why she loves this recipe in a full post on the Fresh Tastes blog.

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Ingredients

  • 3 large zucchini
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • For sauce
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 2 tbsp flour
  • pinch of salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1.5 cups milk

Directions

  1. Grate the zucchinis using a box grater. Cover grated zucchini with paper towels, squeeze to get out liquid, let sit for 15 minutes then squeeze again to get rid of any extra water.
  2. Heat two tbsp butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the shallot and sauté for four minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the grated zucchini and a pinch of salt and continue sautéing for another four minutes, until zucchini is soft and bright green. Remove from heat.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease a small glass casserole dish OR individual ramekins.
  4. Now, make the sauce. In a small pot over medium heat, melt the remaining two tbsp of butter. Once melted and bubbly, add the flour and whisk constantly until mixture turns the color of peanut butter. Slowly stream in the milk, whisking while you pour. Continue whisking until no more clumps of roux remain. Add a pinch of salt and pepper and continue whisking over medium heat until sauce thickens----about five minutes.
  5. Once thick, pour the sauce over the zucchini and transfer to either your glass dish or your individual ramekins. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over top.
  6. Bake zucchini au gratin for 20 minutes, until bubbly and the top is golden. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving.

Yield: 4 servings


Jenna Weber, food blogger for PBS Food's Fresh Tastes blogJenna Weber is half of the Fresh Tastes blog team. She graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in 2008 and, since then, has worked as a pastry chef, bread baker and freelance food editor. Currently, Jenna blogs full-time on EatLiveRun.com where her delicious daily recipes and quirky culinary musings appeal to thousands. She lives in Northern California and, when not in the kitchen, can usually be found on her yoga mat.