Saturday, July 10, 2010

Summer Vegetable Gratin Recipe

Last night I went to a vegetarian pot-luck. Andrew and I are not vegetarians, but I have one veggie recipe that I absolutely love. I think it's so delicious, I promise you won't miss the meat. The tomatoes and garlic oil give it an Italian flavor. Here's the recipe (from America's Test Kitchen):

  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound zucchini , ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 pound summer squash (yellow), ends trimmed and sliced crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 teaspoons table salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes (3 to 4 large), sliced 1/4 inch thick
  • 2 medium onions , halved lengthwise and sliced thin pole to pole (about 3 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 medium garlic cloves , minced or pressed through garlic press (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 large slice white sandwich bread , torn into quarters
  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese , grated (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium shallots , minced (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  1. Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush 13- by 9-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon oil; set aside.
  2. Toss zucchini and summer squash slices with 1 teaspoon salt in large bowl; transfer to colander set over bowl. Let stand until zucchini and squash release at least 3 tablespoons of liquid, about 45 minutes. Arrange slices on triple layer paper towels; cover with another triple layer paper towels. Firmly press each slice to remove as much liquid as possible.
  3. Place tomato slices in single layer on double layer paper towels and sprinkle evenly with 1/2 teaspoon salt; let stand 30 minutes. Place second double layer paper towels on top of tomatoes and press firmly to dry tomatoes.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add onions, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are softened and dark golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes. Set onions aside.
  5. Combine garlic, 3 tablespoons oil, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, and thyme in small bowl. In large bowl, toss zucchini and summer squash in half of oil mixture, then arrange in greased baking dish. Arrange caramelized onions in even layer over squash. Slightly overlap tomato slices in single layer on top of onions. Spoon remaining garlic-oil mixture evenly over tomatoes. Bake until vegetables are tender and tomatoes are starting to brown on edges, 40 to 45 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, process bread in food processor until finely ground, about 10 seconds. (You should have about 1 cup crumbs.) Combine bread crumbs, remaining tablespoon oil, Parmesan, and shallots in medium bowl. Remove baking dish from oven and increase heat to 450 degrees. Sprinkle bread-crumb mixture evenly on top of tomatoes. 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.
It does take quite a bit of time to make this dish, but it is really yummy and perfect for all the summer vegetables available right now. For the breadcrumbs, I took the easy way out and used pre-made breadcrumbs.

Here's the finished product (although it looks less impressive than it tastes, actually):

And of course, I couldn't done any of it without my kitchen helper. Who, as it turns out, really likes summer squash.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Rugby Dog!

Just a few pictures of my sweet Rugby.

Farmers' Market Goodies

Look at all these goodies we got from the farmers' market today! They are for a dish I'm making tomorrow night for a vegetarian dinner party. More details on that to come...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Trying Again...

Here I am, a year after my last blog post! I'm going to try to fire this thing back up again. I want to keep up with my photography, recipes I like and the occasional craft. Right now I'm in summer school, so it might be sporadic, but I like having a place to put down my thoughts.

My family recently lost another member. (This makes 3 in 6 years.) My cousin Dan was killed in a pretty tragic accident. He was only 32 and had 2 older brothers and many other family members who loved him very much. In the past few days my heart has been hurting. I've been so confused why God would allow this to happen and I've been unable to react in the way I wish I could. It's complicated, but my feelings are all mixed up and messy. Suddenly this morning a felt a great thirst for God's peace. In the midst of my crazy stressful life, I have abandoned the quest I once had to attain God's peace above all else. Since I'm at work and don't have a Bible handy, I took to the internet in search of a word of comfort. The first website I found had a verse of the day that was perfect for me right now:

"As for God, his way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him." Psalm 18:30

I think that pretty much says it all.