Crookneck Squash and Rice Gratin with summer herbs


by: Cawfee Lady

This is one of those dishes that would make a great side to serve with grilled lamb chops but of course it stands alone as a vegetarian main dish. Thick slices of Beefsteak tomatoes would be excellent on both plates. Without the cheese the dish is vegan. Come fall and winter, you can make it using grated winter squash and sage and serve braised mustard greens on the side. Serve this summery version with a slightly chilled red from Verona such as Allegrini Valpolicella Classico. A Valpolicella riserva or even an Amarone, both heavier styles made from the same grape (Corvina) in the Veneto, can be served with the winter squash version.


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serves: 4

1/2 cup long-grain rice

sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1 good handful of parsley (leaves)

several bushy marjoram and thyme (sprigs)

2 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil (plus extra for the top)

2 large leeks (white parts plus a bit of green, quartered lengthwise, chopped, and washed)

2 pounds crookneck squash or zucchini (sliced into thin rounds)

2 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated (about 1/2 cup)

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

Nutrition Facts
Crookneck Squash and Rice Gratin with summer herbs

Servings Per Recipe: 4

Amount per Serving

Calories: 281

  • Total Fat: 12.6 g
  •     Saturated Fat: 3.9 g
  •     Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 15.6 mg
  • Sodium: 66.5 mg
  • Total Carbs: 32.7 g
  •     Dietary Fiber: 3.8 g
  •     Sugars: 1.9 g
  • Protein: 12.9 g

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1.  Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly oil a 2-quart gratin dish or 4 shallow individual gratin dishes.

2.  Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Add the rice and a few pinches of salt and simmer until the rice is soft and most of the water is absorbed, about 15 minutes. It’s all right if it’s a little wet. Set aside.

3.  Chop the herbs with the garlic and set aside.

4.  Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat and add the leeks. Cook, stirring frequently, until soft, about 12 minutes. Add a splash of water or dry white wine if necessary to keep them from browning. Season with a few big pinches of the herbs, 1/2 teaspoon or more salt, to taste, and pepper. Scrape into a bowl, return the pan to the stove, and add 4 teaspoons oil.

5.  Raise the heat, add the squash to the skillet, and saute until golden in places, 4 or 5 minutes. Add about a tablespoon of the herbs and continue to saute until fairly tender and increasingly colored, a few minutes more. Turn off the heat. Return the leeks to the pan along with the rice and cheese. Toss well, taste for salt, and season with pepper.

6.  Set aside 2 tablespoons of the herb mixture and add the rest to the vegetables. Put the vegetables in the prepared dish, drizzle a little oil over the top, and bake until hot throughout, 25 to 30 minutes. Switch the oven to broil and brown the top.

7.  Mix the reserved herbs with the lemon zest and toss them over the hot gratin when it comes out of the oven. Serve hot or warm.

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