Light Zucchini & Potato au Gratin

It’s zucchini season, boys and girls!

With the chilly, rainy June we had, my garden isn’t doing overly well.  Despite that, the zucchini is flourishing and I was able to have my first mini harvest (one zucchini – hehe) last week.

So what to make?

This is actually the first year I’ve planted my own zucchini, so while I’ve cooked with it before, I certainly don’t have a large arsenal of recipes.

After some thinking and a peek in the pantry, I decided to combine a few of my favorites: zucchini, potatoes, and cheese!  And since I almost never have cream in the house, I whipped up a light sauce using milk, so we didn’t have to feel bad for eating half the casserole in one sitting!

As it cooked, the house smelled absolutely amazing!   And when it came out of the oven…let’s just say it’s surprising there were any leftovers (and it was only Hubs and me eating it!)  Thankfully, there were some leftovers and the gratin is also fantastic the next day!

Light Zucchini & Potato au Gratin

2 tbsp butter
½ small onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp salt
2 tbsp all purpose flour
1 ½ cups lowfat (2%) milk
1 lb potatoes, thinly sliced
1 large zucchini, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a baking dish.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until softened, add the garlic and cook for one more minute.

Stir in the flour, salt, and pepper to make a paste.  Cook for 1-2 minutes, then slowly whisk in the milk.  Bring the pot to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 5 minutes or until thickened.

Alternate rows of zucchini and potatoes in the bottom of the casserole dish (using about 1/3 of each). Follow with ½ cup of cheese, and 1/3 of the milk mixture.  Repeat the layers until the ingredients are gone.

Cover the dish and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender and the sauce is bubbly, removing the cover for the last 10 minutes to crisp the top.