We are very excited to share with you a terrific Mediterranean Diet recipe by Nancy Harmon Jenkins. Nancy is a celebrated food writer and Mediterranean Diet and cuisine expert, who splits her time between an olive farm in Tuscany and her home on the coast of Maine. She is the author of “The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook,” published in 1993. She has written many acclaimed cookbooks and we are sharing a recipe from her latest book, “Virgin Territory: Exploring The World of Olive Oil.” Gratin of Tomatoes and Zucchini is an excellent recipe for summertime, especially with the availability of fresh local zucchini.
Staff members at Mediterranean Living enjoyed this dish immensely. The fresh summery vegetables simply melt in your mouth. The addition of traditional Mediterranean cheeses and the bright basil flavor make this recipe stand out among gratin recipes. We’ll absolutely be adding this to our repertoire! We enjoyed this dish with a small side of pasta and a Greek Salad. It was the perfect meal.
2poundssmall ripe tomatoes, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
3dark green zucchini, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
1/2mediumred onion, sliced about 1/4 inch thick
fresh ground black pepper
1/2bunchbasil, leaves only, coarsely chopped
1/4cupdry bread crumbs
1/4cupfreshly grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Spread a thin film of olive oil over the bottom of a gratin dish.
Arrange alternating slices of tomato, zucchini, and red onion in the dish, stacking them on a diagonal. If there is excess onion at the end, scatter the remainder over the top, along with a sprinkling of salt and pepper and the garlic bits. Arrange the basil on top.
Set aside 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and dribble the remainder over the contents of the gratin dish. Add dabs of the ricotta all over, then sprinkle with the bread crumbs and grated cheese. Spoon the remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil over the top. Slide the gratin dish into the oven and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and bubbly.
Serve as soon as you remove the dish from the oven, or set aside to eat later-it's as good at room temperature as it is piping hot.
Nancy Harmon Jenkins, a nationally recognized expert on olive oil and Mediterranean cuisines, divides her time between an olive farm in Tuscany and a home on the coast of Maine. She has lived, worked, traveled, cooked, and raised a family throughout the Mediterranean, living at various times in Spain, France, Lebanon, Cyprus, and Italy.
Jenkins is a well-known food writer with a long list of books to her credit. Her latest is Virgin Territory: Exploring the World of Olive Oil, published this year by Houghton Mifflin, but she has been writing about food since 1975 when she was a Rome correspondent for the International Herald-Tribune in Paris. Her next book, The Four Seasons of Pasta written with her daughter Chef Sara Jenkins, will be published in October 2015.
Her first cookbook, The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook, was published in 1993. Since then she has written six other cookbooks as well as a great number of magazine and newspaper articles. She has been a staff writer for the New York Times food section, publications director of the American Institute of Wine & Food, and a founding director of Oldways Preservation Trust. Nancy is also a regular contributor to ZesterDaily.com.
In addition to writing, she created and directs AmorOlio, a six-day seminar and program that takes place each year in different parts of the olive oil world (in autumn 2015, AmorOlio will be in Sicily); she has also worked with the media division at the Culinary Institute of America developing videos about culture and cuisine in many regions of the Mediterranean.