As I was reading my the latest edition of Bon Appetit I came across a recipe for a squash gratin. The recipe is simply summer squash and tomatoes topped with breadcrumbs and parmesan cheese baked until tender and crisp. It sounded delicious and I decided to break my no using the oven during hot days to try it out. I wanted this to be a one pan meal so I added in turkey Italian sausage and gave it a little extra flavor with fresh thyme and homemade croutons. We all loved this meal, even miss Cia Lou.
I knew the only way to make this dish was with local produce so I bought 2 large round zucchini’s and 2 large tomatoes at the farmer’s market. The prices can really vary from stand to stand and we scored all the produce for this meal for $3! I couldn’t believe the two large tomatoes I bought were only a dollar. Definitely the deal of the week. As for the topping I loved the idea of using chunky breadcrumbs. Normally I would bake the veggies without a topping and serve them over a grain. We try not to eat a lot of bread but every now and then it’s worth the indulgence. I bought a loaf of harvest seeded bread by Rudi’s Organic Bakery and it did not disappoint. Hearty and dense, full of grains. This really is a beautiful summer meal..
- 4 slices hearty bread, I sued harvest seeded by Rudi’s Organic Bakery
- olive oil
- 5 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed
- 1/3 cup fresh grated pecorino romano
- 2 large zucchini, sliced thin
- 2 large tomatoes, sliced
- 1 lb turkey Italian sausage, cooked and sliced thin
- Make croutons. Chop bread into large chunks. Place in a large skillet with fresh thyme. Coat thoroughly in olive oil, ~1/4 cup or more, and cook over medium heat until browned but not completely crisp. Remove from pan, toss with pecorino romano, season with s&p, and set aside.
- Using the same skillet lightly sauté zucchini over medium high heat with a little more olive oil and season with s&p. Remove from pan and set aside. You can skip this step and bake the zucchini raw if desired. I prefer very tender zucchini and didn’t want to bake the gratin too long ending up with burnt breadcrumbs.
- Add the tomatoes to the skillet and cook until juices are released and bubbling over medium high heat, about 5 minutes. Season with s&p, remove from pan and set aside.
- Using half the zucchini make an even layer in the skillet. Top with all the Italian sausage and tomato chunks (reserve the tomato juice). Layer on the rest of the zucchini and pour the tomato juice evenly over everything. Lastly add the breadcrumb mixture.
- Bake in a 350° oven for 20-25 minutes until the squash is tender and the breadcrumbs are crisp.