EcoSalon Recipes: Heirloom Tomato and Summer Squash Gratin

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Tomato season is just beginning and you’re probably pretty happy to eat them raw in salads or simply drizzled with olive oil and salt and pepper. But come August or September, you might be glad you tucked this recipe away in your bookmarks folder. (Especially if your neighbor dumps a heaping sack of squash on your doorstep).

Easy to prepare on a hazy, lazy summer evening and a versatile companion dish for anything from grilled meats, to frittata, to pasta, or on its own with bread and cheese, this is a summer dish you’ll make again and again. This recipe is meant to be assembled casually by sight and taste. Measurements are approximate.

Heirloom Tomato and Summer Squash Gratin
Serves 6

You will need:

– 1 1/2 pounds green or yellow organic summer squash (about 5 medium), washed and sliced thinly lengthwise

– 1 1/2 pound large, organic tomatoes (about 4 medium), washed and sliced into 1/3 inch thick slices

– 25-30 whole fresh, organic basil leaves

– 1/3 -1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

– 1/3 cup toasted fine organic breadcrumbs

– 1/3 cup grated Parmesan or other hard cheese (preferably organic)

– Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

To make:

In a 9 x 11 baking dish, layer half of the squash in a single layer, overlapping slightly. Top the squash layer with a layer of half of the sliced tomatoes. Scatter half the basil leaves over the tomatoes. Drizzle half the olive oil over evenly. Sprinkle half the breadcrumbs and grated cheese. Season generously with salt and pepper. Repeat the second layer exactly, using all the remaining ingredients. Cover with foil and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until vegetables begin to soften. Uncover and bake an additional 10 minutes until vegetables begin to brown. Cool slightly before serving or serve at room temperature.

Note: Recipe Copyright 2008 Vanessa Barrington

Image: I Love Butter

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Vanessa Barrington

Vanessa Barrington is a San Francisco based writer and communications consultant specializing in environmental, social, and political issues in the food system.