On his most recent weekly trip to the butcher, my beau picked up brats. I knew I wasn’t serving them in buns so I tried to remember other standard accompaniments. Potatoes seemed to be the standout side, but since I wanted to be a bit different, I decided on a gratin, which is essentially creamy sliced potatoes.
I made my gratin a bit healthier by subbing half the potatoes for zucchini. Also, there was no milk or cream. But make no mistake, it ain’t healthy. It’s still topped with tons cheese of cheese. It’s still a liiiittle bit better, right?
Keeping it simple with just a few ingredients. Thinly slice a potato and a zucchini. (A mandolin is great here, but if you don’t have one, don’t worry; they don’t have to be perfect – I did not use a mandolin this go round.) Wait! Before going further, don’t forget to spray your baking dish. You don’t wan’t those taters sticking to it! Layer the slices in a baking dish, sprinkling herbs de provence between layers. Top with shredded gruyere. Then top with buttered bread crumbs. Bake in a 375 oven for 50 minutes, keeping it covered with tin foil for the first 45 minutes. If you’re working with a larger/taller gratin, you can put cheese in between layers of potato/zucchini…if your gratin is short, you’ll only need the top layer.
The cheese formed the BEST crust around the edges. It was like the crispy cheese that clings to the side the french onion soup bowl. I think we can all agree that’s the best part of french onion soup. This dish was surprising on two levels. First, I needed fewer ingredients than I imagined. This filled a full pie dish (4-6 servings) and only required one potato and one large zucchini. Second, this is healthier than I thought it would be. 50% of the potato has been replaced with a vegetable, there’s no cream, and you don’t need that much cheese. I only used about a 1/4 lb of gruyere for the whole thing.