Sunday, July 12, 2009

Zucchini & Summer Squash Gratin

Zucchini & Summer Squash Gratin

I used to think of myself as a spring/fall girl. At least, that's what I always told people. I feel like I come alive in April and October with its golden sunsets and apple pies has that certain ephemeral charm. But I think I might have been wrong. People, I think I am an undercover summer lover.

Zucchini & Summer Squash Gratin

Maybe it's just that this particular summer has me bewitched. This summer's been simply glorious. I don't remember skies ever being quite this blue or the breeze being quite this gentle. The temperature hovers around a perfect 80F and the farmers' markets are bursting with plump, velvety cherries and red-cheeked nectarines. It all has my head spinning just a little.

Zucchini & Summer Squash Gratin

This gratin was the product of my Saturday morning farmers' market loot and it just tastes like July and picnics in the park and lazy dinners on the porch. Unlike the hearty, cheesy potato gratins we all love when the thermometer dips, this is light and bright with flavors, the soft zucchini and summer squash getting a little zing from a sprinkling of feta and a dash of lemon juice. If, like me, summer has you firmly in its hold, this dish will hit just the right the spot.

Zucchini & Summer Squash Gratin

Zucchini & Summer Squash Gratin

Zucchini & Summer Squash Gratin
serves about 4-6

2 zucchini
2 summer squash
4 eggs
1 cup milk
4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
2 teaspoons dried or fresh thyme
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste

Turn the oven to 350F and butter and 8x8 in. baking dish or 4 individual baking dishes. Slice the zucchini and the squash into thin slices, about 1/4 of an inch. Toss the vegetables with the lemon juice.

Make a layer of the slices on the bottom of the baking dish, overlapping each piece. I made separate layers of zucchini and separate layers of squash, but it doesn't matter, you can mix it up. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Continue until you have layered about half of the vegetables. Then, spread half of the feta on top. Continue layering until the vegetables reach just below the top of the baking dish. Sprinkle with some more salt and pepper. Depending on the size of the vegetables, you may have some slices left over; roast them and throw them into a pasta later.

Whisk the eggs and milk together and pour over the gratin. The liquid should almost cover the vegetables. Then, spread the rest of the feta on top and sprinkle with thyme. Bake until the vegetables are tender and the filling is set, about an hour (the filling will puff, but don't worry, it will settle down once you take it out of the oven).

23 comments:

Nutmeg Nanny said...

This gratin looks so yummy! I love summer squash and the added feta make it really amazing.

Helene said...

Your bowl is so cute. What a great meal using summer squash.

the caked crusader said...

Yum. Looks such a light, summery dish - and i love your bowl!

ChichaJo said...

What a yummy looking gratin! Love it when farmers market bounty yields such glorious results :)

Patsyk said...

I have some zucchini I picked up at the farmer's market last weekend... something about them I just can't resist! Your gratin is a wonderful way to enjoy the bounty that arrives in the summer.

Elra said...

Seriously gorgeous looking gratin. Perfect summer dish.

oneordinaryday said...

Just bookmarked this one. I've fallen in love with feta and this sounds awesome.

Y said...

I'm definitely a Spring girl, and couldn't imagine being an undercover Summer lover, but I think that gratin could easily sway me ;)

Bobbi Lewin said...

oh I think I need to make this for Wednesday potluck. Our community garden is overflowing with zucchini! This looks like it will be a delicious addition to the table!

heidileon said...

just beautiful and delicious I'm sure.

♥Rosie♥ said...

That gratin looks delicious and even though I'm a spring girl I'll come out of undercover and be a Summer lover too :0)

Emily said...

Irene, that looks delicious! And I really love the dish it's in. Lovely! Hope you had a great time in PML...every time I scroll down and see the pics, my heart weeps for Dunn Ct!

Holly said...

I need to make this, and I love the dish!

Jennifer said...

YUM!!!! I have a ton of summer squash! This looks greaT!

Jude said...

I've always been a spring summer kind of guy, if only because fall means that winter is just around he corner. :)

Manggy said...

Awesome. The browned bits on the top are really what make the gratin, aren't they? ;)

honeypetal said...

This look delicious! Will definitely be making this tonight :)

littlebluehen.com said...

Well hello, there. I think I will have you for lunch several times. I can't eat Greek salad EVERY day, and I need a way to use up that lovely feta cheese in my fridge.

Lynda said...

This is a light and delicious looking way to use our summer squash! Will be trying this.

Anonymous said...

I just made this dish tonight with squash from our CSA. It took no time to prepare and tastes so light and deliciuos. Thanks!

Bobbi Lewin said...

I made this last night, but switched out the feta for some cheddar, and the thyme for cilantro, and added poblano peppers. It was really good.

Irene said...

Wow, that sounds so good, especially with poblano peppers!

erin lebeau said...

i tried this recipe with squash from my garden & it was yummy! i posted about it & linked back to you :) love your blog --so many more recipes i can't wait to try! http://erinlebeau.blogspot.com/