Monday, March 28, 2011

Summer Squash Gratin

You can serve this as a side dish. With the addition of some salami or bacon, you could also serve it as a main dish with a nice green salad.

1¼ pounds yellow squash or zucchini, cut into ½-inch squares
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
½ cup salami, prosciutto, bacon, or pancetta, coarsely chopped, optional
1 cup diced Monterey Jack or Swiss cheese (actually any melting cheese would work)
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup crème fraiche or sour cream
1 tablespoon white vermouth or dry white wine
1 teaspoon ground coriander
Generous pinch of ground nutmeg
Generous pinch of cayenne or Aleppo pepper
2-3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
Salt and ground pepper to taste
1½ cups fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter

1. Lightly butter a 10-inch gratin dish or casserole.
2. Steam the squash until tender, about 6-8 minutes. Remove to a medium bowl.
3. Heat the butter or oil in a small skillet and add the onion and the optional meat. Cook until soft but not browned. Add to the squash along with the cheeses, the crème fraiche or sour cream, the wine, coriander, nutmeg, cayenne, dill, salt and pepper.
4. Pour into the prepared dish. Combine the breadcrumbs and melted butter; sprinkle over the top of the squash. You can also cook the breadcrumbs in a frying pan with the butter until they are toasted and crisp.
5. Bake at 350ºF until bubbling and nicely browned, about 35 minutes.

4-5 servings
Adapted from Irma S. Rombauer, Marion Rombauer Becker and Ethan Becker’s The All New All Purpose Joy of Cooking (from 1997). Earlier versions of this cookbook called this recipe Summer Squash Casserole.

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