This recipe is one my little sister sent me several years ago ( in my cook book the recipe is of course titled "Janet's Rice and Zucchini Gratin"). I have no idea where she got the recipe from.
She had made it with tomatoes in place of the zucchini, which i've also done a few times, and which is also very nice. However although i have a glut of both zucchini and tomatoes, i've been turning the tomatoes into roast tomato sauce and gazpacho, so i used zucchini for this recipe.
The original recipe calls for boiling, steaming or microwaving the zucchini until tender, but i see no need for this step. They become quite tender if just placed raw on the rice, as the dish is baked for 45 minutes anyway. I'm sure if you precooked the zucchini they'd just end up completely over-cooked.
Janet's notes she sent me with the recipe were "i made this with 3 tomatoes in lieu of 1kg! of zucchini as the shop had none anyway. VERY QUICK/EASY recipe and delish"
Of course, if you grow your own and have a zucchini glut, the fact that the recipe calls for a whole kilo of zucchini is a real bonus.
I also have a glut of basil, despite making and freezing several batches of pesto, so i added a layer of chopped basil leaves between the zucchini and the rice. Chopped oregano scattered through the zucchini would also be a nice addition.
RICE and ZUCCHINI GRATIN
1 kg zucchini, sliced
50 g butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 egg white
2 eggs, beaten (i add the left over egg yolk from above to these)
1 heaped teaspoon seeded mustard
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 cup rice
1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup sour cream (i use a 150g pot)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
Grease a 20cm square (or similar sized) baking dish.
Heat the butter in a pan, add the onion and cook until clear. Add the rice and water. bring to the boil and simmer covered about 15 minutes or until rice is tender and water absorbed. Remove from the heat, stir in egg white and chopped parsley.
Press the rice mix into the prepared dish, top with the sliced zucchini and any herbs you are using.
Place sour cream in a bowl, stir in mustard, eggs and cheese until well combined. Pour over zucchini, bake uncovered in moderate oven for about 45 minutes until set and lightly golden.