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Pesto Zucchini Tomato Gratin

Pesto zucchini gratin with gluten-free bread crumbs
Zucchini tomato gratin. Summer garden deliciousness.

A Garden Fresh Gratin

Today's post is short and sweet. Or should I say, brief and savory. Are you experiencing an abundance of zucchini and tomatoes? Here is a favorite summer recipe updated from the archives- a basil and garlic laced gratin featuring sliced zucchini, artichoke hearts and fresh tomatoes. Use your favorite gluten-free crumbs on top (my current favorite crumbs for a crunchy golden topping are these cornbread crumbs). 

Serve it as a delicious side dish with grilled chicken, fish or grass fed beef. Vegetarian? Spoon it on top of pesto penne pasta.

Karina's Pesto Zucchini Tomato Gratin Recipe

Recipe posted June 2007.

This tasty gratin is one of our favorite vegetarian recipes. You can easily convert this recipe to vegan by choosing a dairy-free pesto and a casein-free soy or almond "mozzarella".


For the topping-

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Fresh or dried Italian Herbs or basil/oregano/marjoram, to taste

For the veggies-

3 medium zucchini, sliced in long pieces, 1/4 inch thick
5 cloves garlic, chopped
A handful of halved artichoke hearts
4 tablespoons prepared Favorite Basil Pesto or Cilantro Pesto Recipe
2-3 vine ripe tomatoes, sliced thick
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 pinch sea salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper, to taste
4 oz. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (garlic marinated mozzarella rocks)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly oil a gratin dish or large pie plate.

Place the toasted crumbs in a bowl and using a fork, toss with a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil to coat; season with Italian Seasoning or dried basil/oregano/marjoram.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet. Add the zucchini, garlic and artichokes, and sauté briskly just until the zucchini is a bit golden and still tender-crisp. Remove from heat and pour the veggies into a bowl to cool slightly.

When cooled, gently toss the zucchini mixture with the prepared basil pesto, to coat. Layer the pesto veggies in the gratin dish or pie plate.

Spread a scant third of the crumbs on the squash mixture. Layer with slices of mozzarella. Top with sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle the tomatoes lightly with balsamic vinegar. Season with sea salt and pepper. Sprinkle the remaining crumbs over the tomatoes.

Bake the gratin until it is bubbly and hot, about 20-25 minutes.

Serve as a side dish or on top of a bed of hot brown rice penne tossed with basil pesto.

Serves 4.

Recipe Source:

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More fabulous zucchini recipes from bloggers:

Zucchini Frittata from The Perfect Pantry
Dinner Tonight's Garden Goodies: Cuke and Zuke Fest
Zucchini and Tomato Gratin from Nicole at Pinch My Salt
Andrea's Recipes Zucchini and Tomato Gratin
Sauteed Zucchini with Spinach and Basil Pesto at Kalyn's Kitchen
Elana's Pantry Carpaccio of Zucchini

xox Karina


  1. I tagged this at once--but I'll have to wait to make it a little longer, since we don't have good tomatoes here for a little while yet. My own tomatoes are only blossoms so far!

  2. OK, this looks positively DELISH!! My taste buds are watering just from a glimpse of the picture.

    Dairy is a no-no for me too, so I'll definitely be trying some of those non-dairy cheese substitutes.

  3. Anonymous15:56

    this is beyond porn. this is food SMUT. omfg. must. make. tonight.


  5. OK, made this last night. Tasted better than it looks, and it looks delicious! I loved the crunchiness of the bread crumbs. I added some sliced black olives, and used nutritional yeast flakes instead of cheese.

    Thanks, Karina, for another terrific meal.

    You know, since I discovered this blog, I've tried many recipes, and every one has been really good.
    I tell all my family and friends about it/you, and they love you, too.
    BTW, Redbridge beer is awesome! Just tried some Sat. night. Thanks for the recommendation, and please continue to feel better!

  6. I am putting this recipe in my "keepers" folder! You make the best food, and then you take the best photos of it. It is a real treat to read your blog.

  7. Looks fabulous! I love the tastes of summer!

  8. hi karina!

    i saw this on tastespotting and knew from the photo it was one of your recipes! you have a signature style!

    it sounds amazing!

  9. That looks incredible!

  10. Karina! So glad you're back, and in true vibrant-color form. Wonderful.

  11. I'm glad you feel you're on the right path. Keep going!

    I made the Pesto Zucchini Tomato Gratin tonight (I've been looking forward to it since you posted it), and it's wonderful. I think using the best prepared pesto you can find and tomatoes that taste like tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes, since the bigguns at the market were kind of hard and didn't have that tomato smell), makes the dish taste fresh and alive.

    This one's going into my Karina binder. I'm going to make it throughout the summer.

    At the end of a tough week, when I actually considered doing ersatz Taco Bell (with fake Mexican ground beef) at home (What was I thinking?), I realized that tossing this together was actually simpler. And it's real food.

    What can I say? Thank you so much for continuing to inspire me.

  12. I made this last night, so delicious! thank you for sharing, and very happy you're feeling better.

  13. Oh yumminess! I think I need to add this to my grocery list today. It looks amazing.

  14. Anonymous08:43

    im a 15 year old vegan and im paranoid about gluten now, since ive been eating it almost every day with the things i bake experimentally. but its hardly that i ever see a gluten-free blog.. so however you feel, this inspired me. now im going to go buy some almond meal and try some cooking when my mom isnt around.

  15. Sounds so fresh! A perfect farmer's market fare!

  16. I found you by searching for GF blogs and recipes. I've just begun my GF journey. Your photos are beautiful as is your blog. I'll visit again soon.

  17. Positively mouthwatering. I have all the garden bounty required, though I'll probably make it without the pasta. Doesn't sound like the veggies will even miss it! I popped over here from a link at Kalyn's Kitchen. Looking forward to reading more. : )

  18. My baby is gleaming with olive oil and pesto... he shines...we stripped him down so he could eat and not ruin an outfit and we are very pleased with his pesto-y appetite!
    You have changed our gluten free lives with your waffle bread crumbs.... I had tried everything to get that crusty breadcrumb feel...they all had failed miserably...Then you come along with your ....waffles! The first time I used them they were an afterthought and I just took the two toasted waffles and rubbed them together like sandpaper...worked like a charm. Today I did the same but I used my olive oil mister and sprayed the crumbs...worked like a charm.
    This recipe was a delicious hit. It was the first time I ever made pesto correctly and I am pleased as punch!
    God Bless you and your waffles!
    p.s...what does that bring us up to? 7 for 7 I think!
    onto corn chowder!

  19. Wow, wow, wowww! This looks so good. I am so impressed with your inventive, yet easy to accomplish creations. Your ingredients for the breadcrumb topping are so clever! I can't tell you how helpful your posts have been. Truly, you've made our segue into g/f living so much more pleasant. Thanks for posting this!

  20. That was amazing. I used sheep feta instead and served it over fish. YUMMY!

  21. Anonymous18:20

    I made this the other night, it was awesome and I made copies of the recipe and have shared it at work!

  22. ummmmm.... WOW. That meal was unbelievable. My husband who's "never been a fan of pesto", loved the meal as well. You are so talented. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  23. Jeanne23:02

    I made this tonight and it was great...yum yum. We are Vegan so I made a vegan-mozarella cheese substitute and we loved it. Glad there are leftovers!!!

  24. How vibrant! I love this. I don't have zucchini in my garden, and my tomato plant keeps growing but not giving me tomatoes, but I'm still taking advantage of other's bounty and buying up as much as I can at farmer's markets! This is a delicious-sounding dish!

  25. Yum, that looks positively delicious!

  26. Karina: I didn't know where to post or send this. So here it is:
    I am passing on a blog award for bloggers that have touched my heart in one way or another. You have, so I'm passing on an award that was given to me.

    You can retrieve it at my blog:

    Thank you for sharing your lives with me and inspiring me in ways you will never know.


  27. Haven't tried it with artichokes and will give it a bash. It will be great on a rice and millet pasta which is my favourite currently.

  28. So pretty!
    alas, so man tomatoes have been aken by the blight this year around here.

  29. Now that looks delicious.

    That's going on the list of recipes to make this month.

    Passport Foodie

  30. Intoxicating!!! Made it the same night you posted the recipe. Only had two zuchini so adjusted ingredients accordingly. I used Chevre. (My granddaughter is lactose intolerant, but fortunately she can consume goat cheese and butter and cheese from sheep without a reaction.) For the bread crumbs I crumbled and oven dried a gluten free enlish muffin (Foods by George) These are GREAT for bread crumbs!!! to the bread crumbs I added a bit of olive oil, fresh chopped basil and parsley... Thank you, thank you...Paula

  31. Oh wow, that looks amazing! I want to crawl through the screen and snarf down every single bite! Wonderful, wonderful recipe!

  32. This looks fantastic and with all the tomatoes and zucchini coming in, it's a recipe I'll definitely try.

  33. This gratin looks and sounds so fresh and seasonal and good!

  34. Anonymous22:05

    Found this recipe last year, months before dx (G, D, S, E, Y-free for me).

    Loved it then, and love it even more now, for being 'real food' in a world that sometimes feels a bit constrained.

    One question: any suggestions for almond mozzarella (recipes or prepared) that *don't* include casein ... ?

  35. Guest11:07

    This picture looks so beautiful. I love all the ingredients and imagine it will make a summer sensation. Just curious - what is the bottom layer of the gratin? It looks like penne pasta but I can't see it on the recipe. Let me know because I think this will be dinner after the farmers market.

    Recent undefined:=-

  36. Karina11:27

    So many vegan cheeses include casein (ironic, isn't it?). Galaxy Foods makes a non-dairy cheese that features pea protein- but it's only "okay". Experimenting with nut cheeses (in my Vita-Mix) is on my to-do list.

    Recent blog:=- Curried Apple Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe with Art School Rice

  37. Karina11:29

    It is Tinkyada brown rice penne with basil pesto. The link to the recipe is in the introductory paragraph.

    Recent blog:=- Curried Apple Chicken Stir-Fry Recipe with Art School Rice

  38. Guest16:50

    The family loved this! I drizzled in between the layers a small amount of a vegan cheezy sauce I made. Then I served it over DeBoles rice, quonia and amaranth pasta. My husband really liked it on a baguette.

  39. Guest11:29

    Karina, I was the 'anon' who wrote, looking for DFSF cheese ideas. I have found one: Dr. Cow Nut Cheeses. The one I tried tastes very much like cheddar, and is tasty enough to be eaten stand-alone. They are expensive - $7-$9 - but worth a splurge when 'cheese' is what you need. I haven't tried melting them yet - that's next on the list. I get so much from your blog - I hope this reco gives back even a little of that ... !

    Recent undefined:=-

  40. Guest15:11

    Any idea on how to make pesto if you cannot eat nuts?!

    Recent undefined:=-

  41. Karina15:35

    Yes, I've made both nut-free pesto and dairy-free pesto. Follow my links to my pesto recipes and omit the nuts. If you can do cheese, add some Parmesan. But if not, you can still enjoy a tasty herb pesto with fresh basil, olive oil and garlic.

  42. Karina14:17

    Yes, I've made both nut-free pesto and dairy-free pesto. Follow my links to my pesto recipes and omit the nuts. If you can do cheese, add some Parmesan. But if not, you can still enjoy a tasty herb pesto with fresh basil, olive oil and garlic.

  43. Michaele16:08

    Yummy indeed! As soon as I read over this mouth-watering recipe I knew I had to make it. I did and it was beyond fantastic... and now I tell everyone about this fabulous treat. I tossed some left over baked chicken with pesto smothered pasta and then this gratin to top it all off, muy delicioso!

  44. I made this for dinner tonight and it was incredible!!! :) Thank you for posting it.

  45. Wow Karina! This dish looks and sounds so amazing! I am going to try it on Saturday evening! Thank you so much, Susan, Chocolatier.


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Karina - Gluten-Free Goddess xox