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Zucchini Pudding

August 15, 1996|BETTY ROSBOTTOM | Rosbottom is a cooking school director and author of "First Impressions" (William Morrow)

This is one of my favorite summer side dishes. The flavors of the vegetables complement one another well and, once cooked, the dish can be covered loosely with foil and will stay warm for up to half an hour. It can also be prepared in advance and reheated, making it ideal for entertaining.

SUMMER CORN AND ZUCCHINI PUDDING

This corn and zucchini pudding makes a fine accompaniment to lamb, and it would be equally good with barbecued chicken, boiled lobsters and grilled steaks. It can be made ahead, cooled, covered and refrigerated. Before serving, cover loosely with foil and reheat in 350-degree oven until hot, about 20 minutes.

2 tablespoons oil

2 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts only (about 2 leeks)

2 cups corn kernels (scraped from about 4 ears)

2 cups diced (1/2-inch) zucchini (3 to 4 small zucchini)

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Several grinds black pepper

2 large eggs plus 2 egg whites

2 cups half and half

1 cup shredded Fontina cheese, preferably Italian Fontina if available

1/4 cup chopped fresh basil plus extra sprigs for garnish

Nonstick vegetable cooking spray

Heat oil in large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add leeks and cook, stirring, until softened slightly, 3 to 4 minutes. Add corn, zucchini, salt, cayenne and black pepper and cook, stirring constantly, 5 minutes longer. Remove pan from heat and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites and half and half. Stir in cheese and chopped basil. Add corn mixture.

Spray large oven-to-table pan with nonstick vegetable cooking spray and pour in pudding mixture. Bake, uncovered, on middle rack at 350 degrees until pudding is set and golden on top, 55 to 60 minutes. Remove and cool 5 minutes. Cut into portions. Garnish each with basil sprig.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Each of 6 servings contains about:

312 calories; 496 mg sodium; 117 mg cholesterol; 21 grams fat; 23 grams carbohydrates; 12 grams protein; 1.25 grams fiber.

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