Zucchini Gratin: Finding Ways to Use All That Zucchini

People really want zucchini recipes right now, and I'm glad to give them one. In the summer, we're all thinking of ways to use up zucchini but not keep making the same old boring zucchini bread over and over. So here are some ideas to help you consume all that zucchini.

If any of you have read the wonderful book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver, you know how she writes about finding ways to use their out of control zucchini from their garden. She and her daughter provided some great recipes, including one for really good zucchini chocolate chip cookies and a great zucchini orzo. If you don't have the book, you can find those recipes here on their website.

And over at Spinach Tiger, Angela has posted a delicious looking zucchini chocolate cake that I may have to make soon. And that young food whiz, Tony Tahhan, shows how to make a gorgeous zucchini and goat cheese pizza.

Now, don't you feel better about all that zucchini in your garden?

As for this recipe, I think you'll love the addition of the pancetta to the zucchini, which gives it a nice salty kick. Try making your own bread crumbs and using fresh rosemary. It really makes a difference.

Zucchini Gratin

for a printable recipe, click here

1 large sweet onion, sliced
extra virgin olive oil
kosher or coarse sea salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
freshly ground black pepper
2-3 medium zucchini
10 slices pancetta
1/3 cup bread crumbs *
2 large springs rosemary, minced
1/3 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Cut off the ends of the zucchini and slice them lengthwise, about 1/4 of an inch thick until you have 10 slices. Set aside.

In a skillet, saute the sliced onions with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil and large pinch of salt until soft. Add garlic and black pepper and saute for a couple of minutes. Place the onions in an oven-proof dish.

Season the zucchini slices with some salt and pepper. Top each one with a slice of pancetta. Layer the zucchini over the onions in the ish, slightly overlapping. in a small bowl, mix together the bread crumbs, rosemary an cheese. Sprinkle over the zucchini and drizzle with additional olive oil.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes. You can turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes at the end if you need the pancetta to crisp up some more.

* Tip: Make your own bread crumbs with leftover bread. They are far superior to what you can buy in the store. Just place the bread, with the crusts removed, in your food processor and grind away. Fresh bread crumbs can be stored in the fridge in an airtight container for quite a while. I make whole wheat bread crumbs all the time from leftover good quality whole grain bread.

For another zucchini recipe, try my mom's Zucchini Lasagna:

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  1. Thanks for including the cake. This is probably much more up my alley, in that I love savory, salty, pancetta, etc. This will get made very soon.
    Glad I have a mandolin.

    I remember reading about the zucchini lasagna. Glad you included that,

  2. I usually buy 2 medium sized zucchinis at the grocery store, end up using one, and forget about the other one :) ... Looks lovely!

    Thanks for the recipe!

  3. The pancetta adds a nice bit of saltiness and warmth to this gratin. This would be terrific alongside some grilled fish!

  4. I love the salty addition! I'm going to ask my mom for some zucchini from her garden. I unfortunately cannot have a garden where I live.

  5. Sounds like a great use for zucchini. They looks so great at the markets right now but I'm always hesitant to buy them because I never know what to do with them once I get them home.

  6. Perfect way to use up some zucch! this looks delicious! I love that you added some pancetta, this must add nice body tot he dish1

  7. Grazie. . . I just want to dig in!

  8. This looks delicious and thanks for the links for other zucchini recipes! Ours are just starting to produce!

  9. this is a great idea for using up the zucchini. Thanks

  10. Great recipe! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Anonymous7/16/2009

    Love this recipe - except without the onions! I've made your mom's zucchini lasagna - so good! :D

  12. Katerina7/18/2009

    Hi! Just tried the recipe!!! It is great! The zucchini are soft and tender, and the panceta came crispy and salty!!! I really loved it!!!
    Thanks a lot!!!

  13. This looks great, I'm a big zucchini fan.

  14. beautiful gratin!! At first I thought it was bacon in the gratin, but pancetta sounds even tastier! thanks for the shout out :)

  15. This looks great! I love the addition of pancetta..it sounds wonderful.

  16. Anonymous7/22/2009

    Zucchini (although my english roots can't stop saying courgette) and pancetta - 2 very nice things.
    Looks great and something I will be trying in these zucchini filled days.

  17. Lovely!! I love zucchini! Gloria

  18. Something to whip up and bring for our road trip.

    gooseneck hitch