Although you won’t find any butter, cream or high-fat cheese in this dish, the flavor was not sacrificed. I made what I think are wise choices…there’s only one potato (the rest is vegetables) and the Italian cheeses are low(er ) in fat and were used sparingly so I feel justified in calling this a “low-calorie gratin”.
Gratin (pronounced: [gʁa.tɛ̃]) is a widespread culinary technique in food preparation in which an ingredient is topped with a browned crust, often using breadcrumbs, grated cheese, egg and/or butter. Gratin originated in French cuisine and is usually prepared in a shallow dish of some kind. A gratin is baked or cooked under an overhead grill or broiler to form a golden crust on top and is traditionally served in its baking dish. (Source: Wikipedia)
Low Calorie Italian Gratin with Fennel, Leek, Zucchini + Potato
- ½ bulb of fennel sliced thin
- 1 red potato sliced thin
- 1 zucchini sliced in thin rounds
- ½ large leek sliced thin
- 1 clove garlic minced
- olive oil
- dry seasonings (FOODalogue blend: coarse salt mixed with ground chili flakes, fennel seed, oregano, star anise)
- panko breadcrumbs toasted with crushed almonds
- ⅔ cup part-skim ricotta
- 2 tbs parmesan cheese
- Saute vegetables with dry seasonings in a little olive oil.
- Drizzle a little olive oil in cassarole pan and sprinkle crumbs.
- Layer half of vegetables.
- Cover with ricotta which has been lightly sprinkled with dry seasonings.
- Add second layer of vegetables.
- Cover lightly with breadcrumbs and parmesan.
- Bake at 375 about 20-30 minutes.
- Finish under broiler.
Serves 2 healthy portions or 3-4 smaller ones.
Like all FOODalogue recipes, quantities are approximate and just suggested ratios to be adjusted to your tastes and appetite.
I served this with salmon which had been topped with pesto and it was a heavenly combination!
NOTE: Some recipes found on FOODalogue are offered without ingredient quantities. They're meant as a guide to food pairings and techniques to be experimented with … in your own kitchen … to your own spice and taste levels … to your preferred portion sizes … and to however many people you’re cooking for.
A perfect meal has multiple levels of flavor and textures, bright colors and tastes, and healthy(ish) choices. It's all about enjoyment. Enjoy the process, the presentation and the just rewards...eating!