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Eliane's Chunky Zucchini Gratin

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
4 plump cloves garlic, peeled and halved
1 pound zucchini (about 4), trimmed and cut into chunks
1/4 cup light cream
Sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup (1 ounce) freshly grated French Gruyère cheese (or a sharp cheddar) *

Preheat the broiler.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over moderate heat until hot but not smoking. Add the garlic and zucchini, and brown the zucchini for about 5 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and cook until soft, about 10 minutes more.

With a slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini to the gratin dish. Drizzle the light cream all over. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sprinkle with the cheese. Place under the broiler and broil until the cheese is melted and golden, 2 to 3 minutes.

4 servings

* French Gruyère cheese has a creamy yellow interior dotted with medium-sized holes and a brown rind. It tastes rich and nutty. Processed Gruyère (like all processed cheeses) bares no resemblance to the natural cheese.

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