1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 10- by 7-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil; set aside.
2. Toss zucchini and summer squash slices with 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl; transfer to colander set over bowl. Let stand until zucchini and squash release at least 1 tablespoon of liquid, about 20-30 minutes. Arrange slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible.
3. Place tomato slices in single layer on double layer paper towels and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 15 minutes. Place second double layer paper towels on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry tomatoes.
4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and dark golden brown, 15-20 minutes. Set onions aside.
5. Combine garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and thyme in small bowl. In large bowl, toss zucchini and summer squash in half of oil mixture, then arrange in greased baking dish. Arrange caramelized onions in even layer over squash. Slightly overlap tomato slices in single layer on top of onions. Spoon remaining garlic-oil mixture evenly over tomatoes. Bake until vegetables are tender and tomatoes are starting to brown on edges, 25 to 30 minutes.
6. Meanwhile, process bread in food processor until finely ground, about 10 seconds. (You should have about 1 cup crumbs.) Combine bread crumbs, remaining tablespoon oil, Parmesan, and shallots in medium bowl. Remove baking dish from oven and increase heat to 450 degrees. Sprinkle bread-crumb mixture evenly on top of tomatoes. Sprinkle with basil and then bake gratin until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Let sit at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Food: Summer Vegetable Gratin
I found this recipe for Summer Vegetable Gratin in my America's Test Kitchen Cookbook (also in Cook's Illustrated). It is amazing- a perfect taste of summer since it uses all fresh summer produce.
I was a little doubtful at first because of the tomatoes on top (Sidenote: I love tomatoes in marinara, spaghetti sauce, ketchup, salsa etc., but not plain, not even cooked/baked plain. Weird, I know, since we have about 25,000 gorgeous tomatoes growing in the backyard. ;) I'm going to can them. More on that later.)
I adapted it a little, including cutting it in half and using dry thyme since that is all I had on hand. It was great to use tomatoes out of our garden, as well as fresh basil. Hopefully I will be able to use our own zucchini and yellow squash as soon as those are ready to harvest :)
Summer Vegetable Gratin (adapted from Cook's Illustrated)
6 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 large zucchini, ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 large summer squash (yellow), ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch thick slices
1-1/2 tsp. table salt
2 large ripe tomatoes, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 medium onion, halved lengthwise and sliced thin, pole to pole
1/2 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
4 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. thyme (or 1-1/2 tsp. minced fresh thyme)
1 large slice sandwich bread
1/2 cup shredded fresh Parmesan cheese
1 large shallot, minced
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped