Summers in Texas yield quite a bit of squash as it is quite easy to grow in Texas. Luckily, squash is so versatile that creating dishes from appetizers to desserts are well within its ability. Zucchini squash bread is one of my favorites and makes great gifts. For my Foodbuzz 24×24 menu, however, I wanted to stay on the savory side adding a bit of crunch.
This gratin makes the perfect side dish to almost any meal. Each piece of squash in this dish is perfectly coated with a beautiful herb/oil/butter mixture. I ate plenty of raw pieces and knew this dish would be fantastic. These squash are garden fresh so we only had access to green, but feel free to use whatever type you get your hands on. I’m sure a mix of yellow and green would be beautiful, as well.
This recipe is quite fool-proof yielding now one of my favorite summer side dishes.
Summer Squash Gratin
adapted from 101 Cookbooks
- zest of one lemon
- 1 and 1/2 pounds of summer squash, cut into 1/4 inch slices
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes, adjust to spice preference
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 400F.
- Rub a 9×9 or equivalent baking dish with olive oil and lemon zest, and set aside.
- Place the squash slices into a colander and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp kosher salt, mix and set aside to let the water drain out.
- While the squash is “sweating,” make the oregano sauce. You can make the sauce by pureeing oregano, parsley, garlic, salt, red pepper, and oil in a food processor. Set aside.
- Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the butter is lightly browned and fragrant. Add the breadcrumbs into the browned butter. Thoroughly coat.
- Transfer the squash to a large mixing bowl, oregano sauce, Parmesan cheese and half of the breadcrumbs. Mix until every squash is coated. Taste a couple to check for salt.
- Arrange the squash onto the zest-lined baking dish. Top with the remaining half of the bread crumbs. Bake for 40 minutes and the top should be browned and the squash cooked but not mushy. Serve warm.