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Zucchini and Kale GratinIf you are a vegetarian, this is an excellent French meal all by itself. Add a piece of toasted bread with a hint of garlic and a glass of White Bordeaux and you might think you were eating under the stars near the Eiffel Tower with your amour. Seriously, you will fall in love with zucchini, a great delicacy, kale and Parmesan cheese. If you are a meatatarian, this appeals to the bacon lovers.

Have a grater of some sort on hand so you can grate the small zucchini (do not use large) and then squeeze all moisture out of it. For the kale, I found a bag of chopped up kale to save time and you WILL need time for things like baking. Make sure you add the olive oil to the end of the recipe-that’s what makes it toasty. Bon Apétit!

Zucchini and Kale Gratin by Richard Olney, Simple French Food-adapted

2 pounds zucchini, coarsely grated or passed through medium blade of Molli-julienne, salted in layers and 15 minutes later squeezed free of water

1 medium onion, finely chopped stewed gently in 1 tablespoons olive oil for about 20 minutes-until soft and yellowed but not colored

1/2 cup long-grain rice cooked and cooled

10 ounces kale, washed if needed and chopped

3 ounces bacon slices, chopped or slice crosswise into 1/8 inch ribbons

3 large garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

1 large handful chopped parsley

3 eggs or 4 egg whites and 1 egg

Salt and Pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan plus a handful for sprinkling over the surface

About 1/3 cup olive oil

Because of the bulkiness of the uncooked, shredded kale, you will need an unusually large mixing bowl, pot, or basin in which to combine the ingredients. Put everything, with the exception of the final handful of Parmesan and the olive oil, together, mix intimately with your hands, squishing the mixture repeatedly between your fingers, pack it into a large oiled gratin dish, pressing the surface smooth with the palm of your hand, sprinkle the remaining cheese evenly over the surface, dribble over olive oil in a crisscross pattern, and bake in an oven 350 degrees for about one hour and turning the heat up to 450 degrees for the last 10 minutes or so to give the surface a rich gratin.

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