A friend of mine, who is a fabulous cook passed this on to me. Her grandfather always had a huge garden so she grew up on fresh vegetables and knows how to cook them better than anyone I know. —Martee
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Yellow Summer Squash
Green Zucchini, 1/4" slices
Red Bell Pepper, sliced thin
asparagus, roughly chopped
Tomatoes, sliced 1/4"
Vidalia onions, sliced thin and caramelized in extra virgin olive oil
Fresh Ground Pepper to taste
Cloves of Garlic, chopped
Dried bread of your choice
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Fresh Chopped Basil
In This Recipe
Heat oven to 400.
Oil a 13x9 broiler-safe baking dish with extra virgin olive oil.
Toss zucchini and summer squash with kosher salt (2 teaspoons), place in colander to drain for at least 45 min. Drain all water from colander after 45 and arrange squash slices on paper-towel lined tray. Press with additional paper towel to remove all moisture from zucchini.
Slice tomatoes and press with paper towel to remove moisture as well.
Caramelize onions in hot oiled heavy-bottomed saute pan until deeply caramelized, 25 minutes. (this step could be omitted if you like a stronger onion flavor. The onions could be added raw, just use a few less and sliced very thinly.)
Slice asparagus and red bell pepper, or any other summer vegetables that might complement the gratin!
Combine garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, more fresh cracked pepper, and thyme in small bowl. Toss the zucchini and summer squash in half of this oil mixture, saving the other half for finishing.
Now it's time to arrange the gratin: First add the zucchini mixture. Next the red bell pepper and asparagus, then the onions. Slightly overlap tomato slices in single layer on top of onions. Spoon remaining garlic-oil mixture evenly over tomatoes.
Bake in 400 degree oven until vegetables are tender and the kitchen is aromatic with garlic and thyme, 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, place bread in food processor and pulse until finely ground. (You should have about 1 cup crumbs.) Add shallots and pulse a few more times. Add remaining tablespoon oil, the grated Parmesan, and give it a few more pulses.
Remove baking dish from oven and increase heat to 450 degrees. Sprinkle bread-crumb mixture evenly on top. Bake gratin until bubbling and cheese is lightly browned, 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with basil and let sit at room temperature 10 minutes before serving.