I like squash a lot. I really do. But I’m at that point in the summer when, to be honest, the level of squash present in my life is getting to be slightly overwhelming. Not only am I harvesting a small bumper crop in my backyard, but I for some reason keep thinking that purchasing additional summer squash at the farmer’s market is a good idea.
So the chain of events is as follows: Buy fresh squash at the FM –> feel compelled to use said fresh squash before it goes bad –> neglect picking the actively-growing squash in my garden –> end up with giant backyard squash.
This isn’t even the biggest one. My latest monster creation is at LEAST 3 Hershey’s bars long, and probably half of one in width.
So Mike has been subjected to an onslaught of zucchini recipes lately, which have included zucchini bread, zucchini pizza boats, and zucchini-topped pizza, and this is basically fine as he doesn’t mind squash. (But he might after this summer!) I’m still fine with it too, but the ongoing challenge is cooking it in different ways so we don’t get sick of it.
You don’t have to love squash to like this dish, though. It is really very good. This recipe post reflects a few changes that I would most certainly employ if I cook this again, which I will, so don’t lose faith in me if you feel the photos don’t quite do it justice.
The farmer’s market/my garden ingredients used in this meal are:
- Zucchini and Summer Squash
- Corn on the cob
What You Need:
- About a pound of zucchini and summer squash sliced into thin rounds (I used a mandolin for this)
- 1 1/2 cups panko or your favorite bread ground up to make breadcrumbs
- 1 small yellow onion, sliced
- 2 corn on the cob, with corn sliced off the cob
- 1 cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced thin (I also used a mandolin for this)
- Olive or coconut oil
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
What You Do:
Preheat oven to 350F
Here’s an important step you should never, ever ignore when cooking squash, but I always do anyways. Salt your squash to help remove moisture. This will help it cook better and faster, and overall just taste better.
So, toss your squash rounds with 1-2 tsp salt and set aside in a colander to let it drain (about 10 minutes).
After, lay the slices out on a VERY LIGHTLY oiled baking sheet, and place in the oven for about 5-7 minutes, or until the slices look slightly translucent and soft.
Leave the oven on since the whole dish needs about 10 minutes in there at the end.
Warm a tbsp of olive or coconut oil in a medium frying pan over medium heat. When hot, place onion slices in and cover, letting the onions caramelize. Remove them when they smell sweet and look translucent with just a touch of brown.
Gently toss your corn with a tiny bit of salt, black pepper and olive or coconut oil, and mix with the caramelized onions.
Melt the 2 tbsp of butter over low heat.
In a small bowl, mix your grated cheese and panko, adding a sprinkle of salt and black pepper.
Pour the melted butter into the panko mixture, add the minced garlic and stir it up.
Line a baking dish with the cooked squash and raw tomato slices, alternating as you go. After you have one layer down, sprinkle some of your onion and corn mixture over it.
Add more squash and tomato slices, covering them with onions and corn each time you have a new layer, until both toppings are gone.
Top the entire dish with the panko mix.
Place in the oven for 10 minutes or until the topping starts to brown and the tomato juices are bubbling. Then – enjoy!
Pro-Tip: I would recommend making this a wild rice gratin to replace the panko and make it a gluten-free meal. Cook up some wild rice, mix it with an egg and the onions and corn and cheese. Put it on the bottom of the pan and line the tomato and squash on top. Sprinkle with some additional cheese. There ya go!