Mexican-Inspired Vegetable Gratin

Photos by Sabrina Modelle of The Tomato Tart

This recipe was created exclusively for Treehugger's Green Wine Guide by The Tomato Tart. These vegetable gratins are a classical French recipe with a spicy Mexican twist. It's the perfect treat for summertime, which is so seductive with its fresh corn, summer squash, chili peppers and tomatoes. Serve with a Barbera or Nebbiolo or even a good Red Table Wine, you're looking for a peppery, vegetal, rich red wine.

  • 2 eight ball squash or 2 small (1 large) zucchini
  • 2 orange bell peppers
  • 2 ears of sweet corn removed from cob
  • 6 small heirloom tomatoes
  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 Thai chili very finely chopped (optional)
  • 4 ounces cotija cheese
  • 1 cup of panko
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1 teaspoon smoked maldon sea salt flakes
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • Fine grain sea salt
  • Butter

1. Slice tomatoes into ¼ inch slices and sprinkle with sea salt

2. Place in a colander to drain for at least 15 minutes, up to 1 hour. Turning frequently.

3. Saute onion in two tablespoons melted butter over medium heat until translucent.

4. Once golden in color, add the corn and saute for another five minutes.

5. Add the cumin, thai chili, and salt and pepper to taste. Cook for only 1 more minute.

6. Preheat oven to 375º.

7. Mix panko, paprika, mustard, smoked sea salt, 1 teaspoon black pepper until well combined.

8. Grease the inside of four ramekins with butter.

9. Place one tablespoon of breadcrumb mix at the bottom of the ramekin and toss around.

10. Add one spoon full of the corn and onion mix, layer over that some zucchini overlapping so that the corn is fully covered.

11. Sprinkle some more breadcrumbs and add some cotija. Add a layer of bell peppers.

12. Place a thick layer of tomatoes on top of that. Sprinkle with more cheese, add the corn mixture, top with breadcrumbs, and more cheese.

13. Add one thin slice of butter over the top of the breadcrumbs and add a bit of crumbled cheese.

14. Bake on a parchment paper lined baking sheet for twenty minutes until golden brown and bubbly.

15. Allow to cool for a few minutes before eating.

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Tags: Cooking | Green Wine Guide | Recipes | Vegetarian

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