Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Holiday Giveaway!! Season’s Greetings from the Kitchen Goddess
What’s cooking? Italian Veggie Gratin

In the spirit of holiday cheer, my friends at Hamilton Beach have offered another giveaway to Spoon & Ink readers: a Stack & Snap™ 10-Cup Food Processor. They sent me one for testing, and I used it to make an Italian-inspired vegetable gratin. But more on that later. First let’s talk about how you can get your own Stack & Snap – free!

Win a Hamilton Beach Stack & Snap 10-Cup Food Processor!
If you’d like to participate in the drawing for one of these handy time-saving, work-saving machines, all you have to do is leave a comment – either at the bottom of this post or on the Spoon & Ink Facebook page. Just be sure to sign it, and you’ll be entered to win. I’ll be drawing a name and announcing it in a post on Monday, December 22. So leave your comment before then.

The Kitchen Goddess is not one to insist on all the latest appliances. But a food processor is something that even the non-serious cooks among you should have. In fact, many of my favorite recipes would be complete non-starters in the absence of a food processor: Arugula Pesto, Fromage Fort, Greek Almond Cookies, and 3 of the 4 veggie sides I posted about for Thanksgiving (Asparagus Flan, Sweet Potato-Ginger Soufflé, and Watercress Purée). Moreover, the Stack & Snap Processor is so reasonably priced that, even if you don’t win the drawing, it’s easy to fit one into your budget.

The Machine

The Kitchen Goddess was totally in her element with this road test. First, I tried out the processor’s most basic feature: the chopping blade. It nicely pulverized the almonds for a meringue in a recipe I’ll tell you about another day.

So I moved on to the slicing/shredding blade. For convenience, it's a single blade, with "Slice" clearly marked on one side and "Shred" on the other. I wanted to use both features in a single recipe, so I looked around my kitchen and found onions, zucchini, crimini mushrooms, and a package of those adorable grape tomatoes. I took inspiration from a zucchini gratin posted by the great Ina Garten, whose recipes are known to be easy and straightforward, and I tweaked it in so many ways that it no longer looks like Ina’s at all, though it’s still easy and straightforward.

The Stack & Snap performed beautifully, except on the mushrooms, which – frankly – don’t really stand up to any food processor. (Not that it didn’t slice them but it’s too hard to control the position of a mushroom in the feeder tube, so more than a few came out looking like tiny frisbees. I sliced the rest of the mushrooms with my mandoline.) But my Stack & Snap sliced through the onions, the squash, and even the tomatoes like a hot knife through butter. (It’s a Southernism. Forgive me.)

The shredding side of the slicing/shredding disk made short work of a chunk of Parmigiano-Reggiano, and in no time flat, I had the mise en place for my gratin. Which, by the way, is completely delicious and redolent of Italy.

Italian Veggie Gratin

Serves 6.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, separated
2 large onions (12-13 ounces total), halved and thinly sliced
8 ounces crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
5 small zucchini (about 1¾ pounds), thinly sliced
10 ounces grape tomatoes, thinly sliced
1½ teaspoons kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces fresh goat cheese
2½ ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, grated
1½ cups fresh bread crumbs (or panko or a combination)

Preheat oven to 400º and lightly grease a 2-quart gratin dish (about 12 x 9 x 2 inches).

Melt 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large sauté pan or skillet over medium-low heat and add the onions. Sauté the onions for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The onions should cook but not brown, so if they begin to brown, turn the heat down.

While the onions are cooking, take a small skillet (preferably non-stick) and heat another tablespoon of the butter on medium-high. When the butter is hot, add the mushrooms and sauté, stirring, for about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat and set aside.

Once the onions have cooked, add the zucchini, stir, and cook covered for 8-10 more minutes, until the zucchini are tender. Stir in the tomatoes, the reserved cooked mushrooms, and the salt and pepper. Crumble the goat cheese over the mixture and stir it in. Cover and cook another 5 minutes.

Remove the vegetable mixture to the prepared gratin dish. In a small bowl, stir together the Parmigiano-Reggiano and the bread crumbs. Melt the remaining tablespoon of butter and stir it into the cheese/bread crumbs, mixing enough to get the bread crumbs well moistened with the butter. Sprinkle the mix over the vegetables and bake at 400º for 20 minutes or until the top bubbles and browns.

Don’t forget to sign up for the drawing to win your own Stack & Snap Food Processor!


  1. I'm signing up everywhere I can! Please add my name to the pot (so to speak). I promise to provide this lovely machine with a forever loving home!

    Eileen in Atlanta

  2. All the prepping of the ingredients is so very pretty. Food is art, too. Please enter me in the giveaway. Thank you and merry Christmas.

  3. I could definitely use a food processor. Love the veggie recipe! Tiffany

  4. looks yummy, and easy. will come in handy when i have next year's bumper crop of zucchini.

  5. I moved, new kitchen, no food processor, please count me in.

    Barbara in Easton, MD

  6. I'd love to have a food processor! I've been living without one for a while, and you can get around certain things without one but oh man, they are helpful. I want to try this recipe, too. Mmmm!

  7. I could use a food processor and I like the look of the H-B.

  8. I like the looks of the H-B processor, and I could use it a lot.

  9. Leslie Davis GuccioneDecember 17, 2014 at 7:44 AM

    Sign me up. Beautiful photos and great ideas.

  10. Sign me up! Thanks, Lee. Barbara O'Connor.

  11. I can't wait to try this new recipe! Sign me up for the drawing. Joyce Shor Johnson

  12. What a nifty little chopper. Would be a great addition to my styling kit.

  13. We make our dressing from scratch, so our food processor gets a ton of mileage this time of year.

  14. I would love to win this as I don't have a food processor & currently do everything by hand Please enter me in the contest.

  15. I really need a food processor as I'm doing everything by hand now! Thanks for the chance!

  16. This looks great! I would love to win this before moving into my first home.

  17. I would love to make my kale salad and broccoli slaw with this!