Zucchini Gratin with Basil, Olives and Pine Nuts

Serves 4 to 6-

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 large red or white onion, halved and sliced thinly crosswise

1 teaspoon thyme

sea salt and freshly milled pepper

1 ½ pounds zucchini, slice diagonally, ½ inch thick

1/3 cup fresh basil leaves, torn

12 oil-cured olives, pitted and halved

grated parmesan cheese, optional

2 tablespoons pine nuts

Heat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a wide sauté pan or skillet. When hot, add the onion and thyme leaves. Sauté over medium high heat for several minutes, then when the onions begin to collapse a little, cover and reduce the heat to medium. Let them cook until softened, about 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then turn them into an oval or round gratin dish.

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in the pan and add the zucchini. Sauté over high heat, turning them frequently until they begin to color in places, about 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Loosely arrange half the zucchini over the onions, then add half of the basil leaves and tuck in half of the olives. Grate some cheese over the squash, then repeat, making a second layer with the remaining squash, olives, and basil.

Cover with foil and bake until the vegetables have softened, about 30 minutes. Remove the foil, add the pine nuts, drizzle with 2 teaspoons oil, sprinkle on Parmesan, and return the oven for 10 minutes more.

Serve hot or warm.

From The NEW VEGETRIAN COOKING for EVERYONE by Deborah Madison, Ten Speed Press, Berkley, California, 2014, page 245.

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