Exactly one year ago, I was in Provence.
I can’t believe it’s already been a whole year. Not a day goes by that I don’t think about that magical trip, I wish that I could be there now.
I cook in the Provençal style often, it keeps the memory of that trip alive. Poulet rôti, redolent of Herbes de Provence, brings me right back.
(And it happens to be a fun excuse to fire up the rotisserie.) A pinch of piment d’espelette, and roasted potatoes with onions have a French accent. And if a colorful gratin of summer vegetables, also with its fair share of Herbes, doesn’t say summer in Provence, then nothing does.
Provençal Summer Vegetable Gratin
Unsalted butter, for greasing the baking dish
1 medium zucchini, cut on a bias into 3/8-inch thick slices
1 medium yellow zucchini, cut on a bias into 3/8-inch thick slices
2 medium tomatoes, cut into 3/8-inch thick slices
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Herbes de Provence
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup grated Parmegiano-Reggiano
Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Generously butter a 12-inch oval baking dish. Combine the zucchini, yellow zucchini, tomatoes, garlic, Herbes de Provence, oil, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper in a large bowl and gently toss to coat. Layer the vegetables into the dish, arranging them in neat, overlapping rows.
Drizzle with the accumulated juices from the bottom of the bowl and sprinkle evenly with the Parmegiano. Bake for about half an hour, or until the vegetables are tender. Serve immediately.
Serves 4. This definitely qualifies as a quick and easy and also versatile dish. If you cannot find yellow zucchini, by all means use yellow crookneck squash. And if the eggplant at the market looks fantastic, add it too. Serve with plenty of French bread for sopping up the juices.