Saturday, August 21, 2010

Summertime and the living is overwhelming

With garden squash like zucchini and great tomatoes. This recipe is a tad more time consuming, but worth the difference since you don't get an overly gloppy result at the end.

The recipe works because you remove about 3/4 to 1 cup of moisture from the veggies, which makes and concentrates a lot of the flavor in the end result. This is a vegetarians dream, except from maybe the Parmesan cheese.

Cut the squash into 1/4 inch thick rings. Cut the ends off since they will not cook evenly, remove the stem portion of the tomatoes and also slice into 1/4 rounds.

Salting the product, allows it to draw out excess moisture, in a large bowl, toss about 1/2 teaspoon of salt, use both hands to toss to be sure the squash pieces are all coated. You will see that after about 30 seconds of tossing, water will start beading out of the slices. Transfer into a large colander and put into a larger bowl to drain for at least 45 minutes. Half way through toss the cut pieces to allow more moisture to escape.

Take the tomatoes slices and places them on a paper towel ( at least 2 layers) on a cookie sheet and sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon salt on the top side of the tomatoes, leave for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, the towel will be all wet, place two layers of paper towel on the top and with your flat part of your hand push down firmly but not with enough pressure to destroy the integrity of the slices.
Take a 12 in skillet add 1 Tbs of olive oil and caramelize the onions, this will take about 30 minutes on medium to low heat. Salt and pepper the slices onions as you toss them into the pan. You want them brown and full of carmelization, that will bring some nice sweetness to the dish. Once caramelized remove from heat for assembly later.

After 45 minutes to an hour, go ahead and also remove the squash and do the same on top of several layers of paper towels, you can use a little more pressure. Go ahead and throw away the drained liquid.

Take a 9 by 11 Pyrex dish, coat with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and toss all the squash onto the pan. Arrange the cut pieces so they are somewhat even, and distributed at a even level. The take the onions and place them on top of the squash pieces. Level out a little, now take the drained tomatoes and those arrange evenly with a little overlapping of each piece. The idea is to cover the dish with the tomatoes.

Stick it in a 400 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Make the topping.

Take couple of slices of bread or a bun so that you can pulse it in a food processor to make some rough bread crumbs. Add the garlic, cheese and herbs, and oil, blend to make it even.

Remove the dish from the oven and evenly and carefully distribute the bread cheese mixture to cover the tomatoes , crank up the heat to 450 and return the dish to the oven for about 10 to 15 minutes until the bread topping starts to darken and the cheese melts.

Remove, let cool for about 5 minutes , put some chopped parsley or basil on the top and enjoy

Stuff you will need;

1 lb summer squash cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1 lb zucchini cut into 1/4 inch rounds
1.5 lbs ripe tomatoes ( 3 or 4 large) sliced 1/4 inch rounds.
2 yellow onions sliced, about 3 cups
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbs fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
2 tea salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 shallots minced 1/4 cup
basil leaves
1 large slice of bread or bun
1/4 cup
6 tbs olive oil
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