We had a potluck-style barbecue this past weekend, and folks brought tons of good food. One friend brought a box of farm-grown produce with a bunch of potatoes and A LOT of squash. The idea was to grill up the squash … but we never got around to it. When the friend left, he “forgot” to take some of the squash. I say “forgot” because I think he did it on purpose.
You see, this friend’s family is from upstate New York. If you think squash grows well here in Texas, you should see it go in the summer in New England. The cool nights and warm days, plus the abbreviated growing season, make squash incredibly prolific up there. Also, many more people have gardens, although we’re catching up down here. So it’s a well-known prank in Vermont, upstate New York and thereabouts to leave a big basket of squash on someone’s doorstep in the summertime. Because, good golly, what are they going to do with MORE squash?
That’s the question I’ve been trying to figure out all week, as we made our way through the more perishable leftovers. Last night, I made a Summer Squash Gratin. Today, I’m going to make Squash and Mushroom Quiche. THESE WON’T EVEN USE HALF THE SQUASH!! Please, LiveMom readers, post your squash-heavy recipes in the Comments section. I’m drowning in the stuff!
This is adapted from the nondairy version from Alice Water’s “The Art of Simple Food” (although I put a little cheese in it). See below for the original dairy version.
Summer Squash Gratin
6 medium summer squash
1 large onion
2 cloves garlic
Leaves from a few basil sprigs
Asiago, parmesan or another hard cheese
Salt and pepper
Thinly slice the squash (you can use a mandolin or your food processor to make this job easier); set aside. Chop onion and garlic and sauté in a pan over medium heat with 1 tablespoon olive oil for about 10 minutes, until soft but not brown. In the meantime, roll up the basil leaves and slice into ribbons. Use a little olive oil to grease a gratin dish or a casserole dish. Lay down a third of the squash slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, half of the basil and about a tablespoon of the hard cheese, grated. When the onions and garlic are done, spread half of them on top of this layer. Do the same for a next layer, then end with a layer of squash. Sprinkle it with salt and pepper, then drizzle olive oil over the top. Lay a cover of parchment paper or foil over the top. Bake at 375 for 40 minutes. Remove from oven, take off covering and sprinkle the top with 1 more tablespoon grated cheese. Bake 10-15 minutes more, until lightly browned on top. (If you like, you can also sprinkle the top with seasoned breadcrumbs before returning it to the oven.)
Full Dairy Version: Omit onion, garlic, olive oil and cheese. Layer squash and basil in three layers, sprinkling with salt and pepper as you go. Pour in 1/2 cup cream and 1/2 cup half-and-half. The liquid should come just to the top of the squash. Bake 1 hour or until bubbling and brown on top.