After our trip to the u-pick vegetable farm over labor day weekend, we came home with 10 pounds of summer squash and zucchini. Summer squashes seem to be priced somewhat high here in Seattle so I haven’t had the chance to get tired of my usual ways of preparation. Gratins are a good way to use up lot of vegetables, especially if you like crispy breadcrumbs and melty cheese. I really liked this recipe because it added flavor with a salsa verde and not with lots of cream or butter. The only unfortunate part about this recipe is the amount of dishes involved to make seemingly one dish (food processor x2, mandolin, colander, several bowls, a small skillet), but the results are so tasty that I wouldn’t mind making this again at all.
Summer Squash Gratin
adapted from food52
note: I didn’t have any gruyere on hand and instead used some soft goat cheese (chevre) and delicious goat gouda. The gouda is not super melty like gruyere, but I really liked the combination of the pillowy soft goat cheese with the sharper, earthier gouda.
Also, I used a bigger gratin dish to accommodate more squash and more crispy topping, but the recipe recommended using a 9″x9″ pan.
2 pounds summer squash/zucchini, thinly sliced on that mandolin
1.5 c fresh breadcrumbs (i used whole wheat)
2 tbsp butter
handfuls of your cheeses of choice; i used goat cheese and gouda
small handful of capers, roughly chopped
sprinkle of thyme leaves
1 stem of oregano with the leaves stripped off
1 stem of mint with leaves stripped off
1 large bunch parsley, destemmed
small handful of basil
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 hot chile pepper of your choice, seeded
1 tsp miso paste (i use this a lot for some umani)
1/2 large lemon, both zest and juice
Toss the sliced squash with a generous pinch of salt and set to drain in a colander, about 10 minutes. Drain and shake off excess moisture.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
In a small food processor, make the salsa verde. Combine the herbs, garlic, chile, miso, and lemon juice and zest. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil until smooth. Sometimes, in order to save some money and calories, I use a bit of veg broth, but don’t tell anyone! Season well.
Toss the sliced squash with the salsa verde in a large bowl. In a small skillet, brown the butter and toss in the bread crumbs. Butter the gratin dish and layer in the prepared squash. Sprinkle with capers and thyme leaves. Dollop on the goat cheese, if using, and sprinkle on the firmer cheese. Finish with a layer of breadcrumbs. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the squash is tender, cheese is melted, and the breadcrumbs crispy.