jul 17, 2020

Summer Squash Gratin

When your vegetable patch or grocery basket overflows with summer squash, we believe you’ll be mighty pleased with this recipe, adapted from The A.O.C. Cookbook by celebrated Los Angeles chef and restauranteur, Suzanne Goin. We’ve put our own spin on it over the years, simplifying the method a bit for home kitchens. It is always a welcome addition to our summer table.

Summer Squash Gratin

with Salsa Verde & Gruyère

Author the Civic Kitchen

Zucchini, crookneck, patty pan, zephyr, eight ball - whichever squashes you choose, this casserole is delicious hot or cold and keeps for a week in your refrigerator. Substitute an additional teaspoon of capers for the anchovy for a vegetarian version.

Adapted from: The A.O.C. Cookbook, by Suzanne Goin
Yield   4-6 Servings


Salsa Verde

1 teaspoon marjoram or oregano leaves

¼ cup coarsely chopped mint

1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley leaves

1 clove garlic

1 salt-packed anchovy, rinsed, deboned

1 tablespoon capers, rinsed

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ lemon, for juicing

Freshly ground black pepper


2 lbs summer squashes

Kosher or sea salt

1½ cups fresh course breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

½ cup very thinly sliced shallots

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves

½ cup Salsa Verde

Freshly ground black pepper

1 packed cup (4 oz.) grated Gruyère cheese


For the Salsa Verde:
Pulse the herbs, garlic, anchovy and capers together in a food processor to chop them without making a paste. Add the oil, a large squeeze of lemon juice, and a pinch of pepper, and process again. Taste for balance. The garlic will taste sharp – don’t worry, it mellows as it bakes.
For the Gratin:
Heat the oven to 400℉.
Cut the squash on the diagonal into ⅛-inch thick slices. Toss them with 1 teaspoon salt, and let stand in a colander or strainer for at least 15 minutes. The squash will release liquid, so set the colander in your sink or over a bowl.
Meanwhile, place the breadcrumbs in a small bowl. Heat the butter in a small pan over medium heat until it browns and smells nutty. Immediately pour it over the breadcrumbs. Scrape the pan to get every delicious drop. Add a pinch of salt and toss well.
Blot the squash thoroughly dry with a towel. Add the shallots, thyme, salsa verde and a few grinds of pepper, and toss to combine. Add all of the cheese and half of the breadcrumbs, and toss again.
Spread the squash mixture evenly in a 9-X-9-inch (or similar volume) oven safe dish. Top with the remaining breadcrumbs. Bake, uncovered, until the squash is tender and the topping is crisped and golden, about 35 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes or longer before serving.