Summer Squash Gratin
Summer Squash Gratin
Every summer I plant way too many squash plants knowing full well I'll be swimming in squash come July, but I do it anyway. Despite the fact that neither my husband nor my son like summer squash very much, I still put it in everything during the summer because I love it! Food and Wine featured a summer squash gratin a couple months back so I adapted it to what I had on hand and in the garden. This recipe is not only a showstopper, it's very tasty too and gives you a great excuse to eat half a loaf of bread to yourself (like you need one). The thin slices of zucchini and yellow squash are coated in olive oil and cheese and coiled around each other and then baked (with extra cheese). As they cook, they release their juices, forming the perfect sopping liquid for crusty bread.
- 1/4 cup olive oil, divided extra virgin
- 1 leek thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 zucchini
- 2 yellow squash
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper freshly ground
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 cup gouda (or other melting cheese), divided finely grated
- 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes halved
Preheat the oven to 425 F. In a small sauce pan heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat and add the leeks. Saute until leeks start soften and turn slightly brown. Add the wine and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated. Spread the leeks with the liquid on the bottom of 9 inch round baking dish.
Very thinly slice the zucchini and yellow squash, ideally on a mandolin but a sharp knife will work. Spread the slices out on baking sheets, trying not to overlap too much. Brush the slices on both sides with the remaining olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, thyme and cheese, saving about 1/2 a cup of cheese for the top.
To assemble, start with 1 piece of zucchini rolled tightly around itself and stand it up in the middle of the baking dish on top of the leeks. Alternate colors by wrapping the zucchini with a slice of yellow squash. Continue this pattern until you've reached the sides of the dish and everything is snug.
Squeeze the cherry tomato halves in between the layers of squash. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Serve with crunchy finishing salt (like Maldon) and crusty bread for soaking up the juices.