I have wanted to make a gratin for a while. First of all, gratin [gra-teh(n)] sounds super fancy, so if you tell someone you are making them a gratin, they will immediately think you are an amazing cook. Secondly, what is not to love about a gratin… cheesy goodness with a crisp breaded top… amazing!
Unfortunately, every time I ran across a recipe for one (or even worse, a scrumptious-looking picture), I would think, Ooo, that looks soo good, but Adam would definitely despise this. Cooking without cheese really limits what is available to make. But why am I complaining, I cause even more problems being a vegetarian!
I found this recipe through Cooking Light on MyRecipes.com, and as I quickly skimmed through the ingredients, I thought to myself, Only 3/4 cup cheese, Adam might not hate it… squash and peppers, I’ll love it!
I had this as my main dish, adapting it slightly, along with a salad and some slightly-too-crispy bruschetta. I made some chicken for Adam, so this became a side dish for him. He had to guess the ingredients of the gratin, because I was afraid that if I flat out told him about the cheese, he would be skeptical.
Now, what did my cheese-disliking-husband think of this, you ask?
You’ll have to read the recipe to find out 😉
- 1/4 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup water
- olive oil
- 1 large red onion, chopped
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 lb. yellow squash, cut into thin slices
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 2 Tbs basil
- 3/4 tsp salt, divided
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 3 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 large tomato, cut into thin slices
Preheat the oven to 375ºF, and grease an 11″ x 7″ baking dish.
Pour quinoa into a small pot. Add water and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and cook, covered, for 15 more minutes, or until all of the water is absorbed and quinoa is light and fluffy.
Mean while, heat a large pan with olive oil. Cook onion for 3 minutes, or until translucent. Add the peppers and cook for 2 minutes. Add garlic and squash and cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a small bowl, whisk eggs, milk, mozzarella cheese, and 1/4 tsp salt together.
Heat a small pan with olive oil. Add bread crumbs, and toast them for about 3 minutes.
Combine vegetable mixture and cooked quinoa with basil, thyme, 1/2 tsp salt, and pepper. Pour mixture into greased baking dish. Pour the egg mixture over top and mix around to coat evenly. Add tomato slices on top, and cover with bread crumbs.
Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the top is browned.
Prep time: 30 minutes active / 40 minutes inactive
“This is one of the more hearty and filling vegetarian dishes you’ve made lately,” Adam said about the gratin, “I really like it.”
I think we’ve got a winner!