Tuesday, June 19

Summer Squash Gratin

Summer squash just hit our markets a couple weeks ago, reminding me of a great squash gratin I had a wedding pre-party in Virginia last year. I like to think of it as a lighter, summery take on a potato gratin, where the majority of the dish is thinly-sliced squash rounds. Of course, no gratin would be complete without some crunchy bits and cheese, but a little goes a long way if you use high-quality ingredients. I brightened it with some chili and lots of garlic flavor, which really adds some depth to the mild vegetables. I served it as a side dish, but it’s certainly hearty enough for a full meal when paired with some bread and a green salad.

Summer Squash Gratin:
  • Thinly slice 4 summer squash into 1/8" thick rounds,* sprinkle with salt, then place in a colander for 15 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp. olive oil in a skillet and cook 1 diced onion, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 1/2 diced serrano pepper until soft, about 8 minutes. Set aside.
  • Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a skillet, add in 1/2 c. panko breadcrumbs, and toast until lightly golden. Set aside.
  • Squeeze excess liquid from the squash and toss with half of the breadcrumbs and 2 tbsp. minced parsley.
  • Butter a baking dish, then arrange a layer of squash on the bottom.
  • Top the squash layer with some of the onion mixture and a sprinkling of grated Monterey Jack cheese.**
  • Repeat layering until all squash has been used, then place in a 400F oven for 40 minutes, or until squash is cooked through and the top has browned.
  • Let cool slightly, the cut into pieces and serve.

Serves six - eight (side dish)
Serves four (main course)
*I used a mandoline to keep the slices uniform.
**I used a garlic jack cheese from our local market, but any white melty cheese works here.