We planted only ONE zucchini plant and that thing is producing like it’s on crack!
Seriously, it’s just insane!
But wow, do I ever know how to use it up in this recipe for Creamy Parmesan Zucchini and Rice Gratin! This puppy uses up 3 POUNDS of shredded zucchini! Call me crazy, maybe, but it shrinks down to about 2 cups after ‘salting-out’ the water in the shredded zucchini. BRILLIANT!
Easy, creamy-cheesy yummy . . . and very company-worthy too!
Although this a side dish, it pairs perfectly with a mixed-greens salad for a wonderful meatless meal. That’s just fine for me, but Mr. Meat and Potatoes had to have a steak with it. Everyone’s tummy was happy . . . and that’s what counts! This gratin is also fabulous served with fish!
I’ve got 6 more medium-sized zucchini in my kitchen right now, so I’ll be over-dosing you with zucchini recipes for some time. For those of you who are sending me your recipes, I’ll get to them and post them as more zucchini grow.
Trust me, there’s more coming!
golden-brown cream and cheese top this delicious gratin
Here’s a comment left on my Facebook page about this recipe from Diane, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (anonymity respected):
“I made this tonight and we all love it! It was absolutely delicious! I couldn’t believe how much water drained out with the salt from the zuchini and again after I rinsed it and redrained it on paper towels several times! We have two zuchini plants that are producing like crazy! It was awesome!!! My daughter and I loved it and so did my husband who claims to not like zucchini!”
- 3 pounds zucchini, shredded with skin left on
- 3 tsp. salt
- 2 cups arborio or jasmine white rice
- 1-½ cups onions, diced
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3 Tbsp. flour
- 2 cups whole milk (or 1 cup whole milk and 1 cup heavy cream)
- 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup grated 5 - 6 Italian blend cheese (from the package)
- 1-½ tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. black pepper
- 3 Tbsp. freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
- butter, softened to prepare the baking dish
- Preheat oven to 425 (F).
- Wash the zucchini, removing any dirt from the skin.
- Cut off both ends of the zucchini, but leave skins on.
- Shred 3 pounds of zucchini, including the green skin.
- Stop shredding when you get to the middle where the seeds are; do not include the seeds in this recipe; discard/composte the seeds.
- Place the shredded zucchini a a medium mixing bowl.
- Mix in 3 teaspoons of salt into the shredded zucchini; mix well.
- Place salted zucchini shreds into a colander and place inside a large mixing bowl.
- Allow to sit for 5 minutes while the salt draws the water out of the shredded zucchini.
- Throw out the drained zucchini water in the bowl and press down on the zucchini in the colander to get out more water.
- Run clean, cold water over the shredded zucchini in the colander to get rid of any remaining salted water.
- Press down on the zucchini again to get out more water.
- Then take about 4 sheets of paper towels and place the zucchini on them and roll into a ball.
- Squeeze, squeeze, squeeze more water out . . . it will flow out of the paper towels.
- Place the zucchini to the side.
- Boil a medium pot of water.
- Add the rice and cook for only 5 minutes and no more.
- Drain the cooked rice and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil and sauté the onions until very golden brown.
- Add the garlic to onions and sauté for another minute or two.
- Add the shredded zucchini and blend well into the onions and garlic.
- Cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add the flour and blend well into the zucchini, onions and garlic.
- Warm the milk and/or cream.
- Pour the milk and/or cream into the zucchini, onions and garlic and mix well.
- On moderate to hot heat, bring the creamy mixture to a simmering heat.
- Add the rice.
- Add the cheeses.
- Taste, taste, taste!
- Add 1-½ teaspoon of salt and 1 tsp. black pepper.
- With soft butter, prepare a gratin baking dish.
- Pour the cream-cheese-zucchini mixture into the baking dish.
- Sprinkle 3 Tbsp. freshly-grated Parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake for 15 minutes on the lowest rack in the oven.
- Check on it.
- At this point, place a sheet of aluminum foil on top after the top is golden brown (you don't want it to burn, but just get to the golden-brown point).
- Continue to bake for 10 - 15 more minutes.
- Serve immediately.
And in case you missed it, here’s the recipe for the best damn Zucchini Cake on the planet!
I kid you not!