This recipe may be prepared ahead of time and reheated. For variation, try a combination of cheeses, like gruyère with grated parmesan or crumbled goat cheese. A vegan version would omit the cream and cheese, substituting 1 tbsp. olive oil and 1/2 cup bread crumbs.
2 large or 3 medium zucchini
1 tsp. olive oil
3 tbsp. crème fraîche or heavy cream
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. grated nutmeg
1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup freshly grated gruyère or a similar cheese
Slice the zucchini into rounds about 1/8 inch (5 mm) thick. Steam for 5 minutes in a steamer.
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6 (350 F, 180 C) Use the olive oil to oil a small gratin dish or a baking dish, preferably ceramic or glass.
In a mixing bowl, combine the cream, zucchini rounds, garlic, salt, nutmeg, thyme and pepper. For best results, use a whole nutmeg seed and grate it right over the dish with a nutmeg grater (at right). How much to use is a matter of taste, but don’t overdo.
Place the zucchini in the baking dish in layers. Spoon over any remaining sauce. Cover with the grated cheese.
Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cheese is bubbling and golden brown. Serves 2-3. For a larger crowd, double or triple the recipe.