Verdure Gratinate Al Forno

Verdure gratinate al forno is the perfect Italian side dish for any roasted or grilled protein. The recipe features roasted fresh vegetables topped with a nice crumbly mixture of bread, Parmigiano cheese, and aromatic herbs.

Verdure gratinate al forno in a serving platter.

About The Recipe

Among all the authentic Italian vegetable dishes, verdure gratinate al forno is probably one of the most popular in the country.

This recipe is made by covering fresh vegetables with a mixture of breadcrumbs, Parmigiano cheese, and herbs. Then they will be drizzled with an excellent extra virgin olive oil and pop into the oven.

It will take just some minutes to get a delicious and healthy dish, something that is very common in Mediterranean cuisine.

This flavorful dish is a staple in many households and restaurants, something you will find all year long enjoyed as a contorno (side dish) for other traditional dishes like roasted veal.

What Type Of Vegetables To Use

Since is a dish that can be made any time of the year, the vegetables can vary depending on what’s in season.

With this recipe, you could use any vegetables you prefer. In summer there is more variety but in winter we can also find other types of vegetables that can be used in this recipe. For example, cabbage, carrots, potatoes, broccoli, etc.

If it is spring you can also use artichokes, fennels, asparagus, etc. Tomatoes are also a good vegetable to use and being available all year round, it is one of the most used.

For my verdure gratinate al forno recipe I used: Red and yellow bell peppers, zucchini, eggplants, and onions. Sometimes I also add some tomatoes and potatoes.

Fresh vegetables to make verdure gratinate al forno, cut and displayed on a marble surface.

The vegetables are normally cut into large pieces, so the breadcrumb mixture stays in place.

Related: Seasonal produce in Europe.

Of course, you can also just cut them into cubes if that makes it easier for you, just make sure you adjust the baking time accordingly.

I like to cut the zucchini in half and then lengthwise, making slices almost half-inch (1cm) thick. Then I cut the aubergines the same as zucchini, about half-inch (1cm) thick.

Last, I make large strips with the peppers about 1 or 1.5 ” (4-5cm) wide and cut the onions into thick slices.

Verdure Gratinate Al Forno Recipe

You can find the full list of ingredients below, in the recipe card.

Step 1 – Prepare the vegetables.

  • Wash and clean the vegetables. Cut them into large, thick pieces (read recipe card notes).
  • Make some cross-cuts to the aubergines and zucchini, which will help the vegetables to cook evenly.
Fresh eggplants and zucchini cut and placed on a marble surface.

Once the vegetables are ready, you can proceed with the preparation of the bread mixture:

Step 2 – Make the breadcrumb mixture.

  • Place bread and breadcrumbs in a food processor or a blender.
  • Add the garlic clove, the herbs, and the Parmigiano cheese.
  • Blend for 20-30 seconds until the bread has combined into the mixture and everything looks like the photo below.
  • Keep aside.
Breadcrumb mixture for verdure gratinate al forno in a bowl.

Step 3 – Bake the vegetables.

  • Oil a baking tray with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil then sprinkle with salt.
  • Arrange the vegetables in a single layer.
  • Drizzle the vegetables with a little extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkle of salt.
  • Top them with the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Add another drizzle of olive oil, making sure that the bread soaks it pretty well.
Unbaked verdure gratinate al forno right before going into the oven.
  • Cover the vegetables with aluminum foil.
  • Bake it in a preheated oven at 350°F / 175 °C for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and continue baking for another 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the edges lightly browned.
  • Serve the verdure gratinate at room temperature.
Verdure gratinate al forno in a baking tray.

Useful Notes And Tips

  • You need to cover the first minutes of baking, otherwise, the crumby mixture will burn before the vegetables are done.
  • You can also use garlic powder instead of fresh garlic.
  • An excellent oil is essential for this dish, preferably an Italian extra virgin olive oil.
  • If you want to enjoy a vegan dish, just leave out the Parmigiano cheese and that’s it.
  • In summer is pretty common to use fresh herbs, but in other seasons adding dried herbs is also acceptable.
  • This dish is amazingly good at room temperature.

Serving Recommendations

The dishes below are perfect to serve alongside these vegetables:

  • Braciole – Beef rolls simmered in tomato sauce.
  • Polpette – Classic Italian meatballs, very flavorful and soft.
  • Timballo – Baked fusilli pasta with a light ragú and bechamel sauce.
  • Veal pocket – Stuffed with cheese and mushrooms.

But don’t limit yourself to eating this dish as a side, my husband loves to eat leftovers of verdure gratinate stuffed in a sandwich made with focaccia. Believe me, it is delicious!

How To Store And Reheat

The verdure gratinate al forno can last for about a day at room temperature. And up to 4 days in the fridge nicely stored in an airtight glass container.

In Italy, the verdure gratinate are served always at room temperature, but if you want a quick meal and you just took the dish from the fridge, just pop it in the oven and reheat for a couple of minutes at 350°F/180°C.

Verdure gratinate al forno recipe.

Verdure Gratinate Al Forno

author Maricruz
4
These verdure gratinate al forno are the perfect side dish for any roasted or grilled meat. The vegetables are topped with a nice crumbly mixture and roasted in the oven.
prep 15 minutes
cook 40 minutes
total 55 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 large zucchini
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 2 Tbsp Parmigiano cheese (grated)
  • 2 slices stale bread
  • 1 garlic clove (peeled)
  • fresh herbs (parsley, basil, thyme, rosemary)
  • extra virgin olive oil (as needed)
  • salt

Instructions
 

  • Wash and clean the vegetables, then cut them into large pieces (read notes).
  • Make some cross-cuts to the aubergines and zucchini, to help the vegetables to cook evenly.
  • Place the bread cut into pieces, the breadcrumbs, the garlic clove, and the fresh herbs in a food processor.
  • Add the Parmigiano cheese and blend everything for 20-30 seconds. Set aside.
  • Oil a baking tray with a good drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, sprinkle with salt.
  • Arrange the vegetables in a single layer.
  • Drizzle the vegetables with a little extra virgin olive oil and season with salt.
  • Top the vegetables with the breadcrumb mixture.
  • Add another drizzle of olive oil, making sure that the bread soaks it pretty well.
  • Cover the tray with foil and place in the preheated oven at 350°F / 175 °C for 20 minutes.
  • Remove the foil and continue baking for another 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the edges lightly browned.
  • Serve at room temperature.

Notes

I like to cut the zucchini in half and then lengthwise, making slices almost half-inch (1cm) thick. Then I cut the aubergines the same as zucchini, about half-inch (1cm) thick.
Last, I make large strips with the peppers about 1 or 1.5 ” (4-5cm) wide and cut the onions into thick slices.
Nutrition Information
Calories: 382kcal | Carbohydrates: 55g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 1228mg | Potassium: 810mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 1643IU | Vitamin C: 158mg | Calcium: 140mg | Iron: 4mg
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