Sunday, August 9, 2009

Mini Summer Vegetable Gratin

Inspired by a recent recipe from the New York Times and the abundance of summer corn, I tried this out:


1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 medium red onion, finely chopped

1 medium red bell pepper, diced

2 red chilies, chopped

Salt to taste

1 large garlic clove, minced

1/2 pound summer squash, thinly sliced

Freshly ground pepper to taste

Kernels from 2 ears sweet corn (about 2 cups)

3 large eggs

1/2 cup 1% milk

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, lightly toasted and coarsely ground in a spice mill, or slightly crushed in a mortar and pestle

1/2 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shreded

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Oil 6 muffin tins. Set aside the kernels from one of the ears of corn. Heat the olive oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat and add the onion and chilies. Cook, stirring often, until it begins to soften, about three minutes, and add the red pepper and a generous pinch of salt. Cook, stirring often, until the onions and peppers are tender, about five minutes. Add the garlic and the squash, stir together and add another generous pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the zucchini is just beginning to look bright green and some of the slices are translucent. Stir in the kernels from one of the ears of corn. Stir together for a minute or two, and remove from the heat. Scrape into a large bowl.

2. Place the remaining corn kernels in a blender jar, and add the eggs, milk and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Blend until smooth. Pour into the bowl with the vegetables. Add the cumin and the cheese, and stir everything together. Scrape into the muffin tins.

3. Bake 25-30 minutes, until the tops are browned and the gratin is firm to the touch. Serve hot or warm.

Notes: I loved these mashed up inside a tortilla. Kind of a breakfast burrito. They also pair well with salads and fruits.

I recommend these before they are brown on top; because they are in muffin tins, they cook quickly.

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