Summer Squash Gratin with Salsa Verde & GruyerePrint Recipe

Here is another gem from the master of taste sensations; Suzanne Goin. Suzanne has the ability of turning the plainest of ingredients (and squash is certainly one of those) into absolutely mouth watering dishes that people will keep picking at until the very last morsel is gone.

So this is what she does to your humble squash – with help of an excellent salsa verde, some shallots & garlic, breadcrumbs and a fine grating of gruyere. A gratin that is so full of flavour that is could quite easily be served on its own with a fine glass of merlot – which it has been in our house on more occasions than I can remember.

2 pounds of summer squash
kosher salt & pepper
3 tablespoons salted butter
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
3/4 cup sliced shallots (scallions for the US)
1/2 cup of salsa verde (recipe below)
1 1/2 cups of fresh breadcrumbs
1 cup of grated Gruyere cheese

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Cut the squash into 1/8-inch-thick slices. Toss the slices in a large bowl with 1 teaspoon kosher salt, and let sit for 10 minutes.

Place the breadcrumbs in a bowl. Heat a small saute pan over medium heat for 1 minute. Swirl in the butter and cook for a few minutes, until it browns and smells nutty. Pour the brown butter over the breadcrumbs (being sure to scrape all the brown bits into the bowl with a rubber spatula). Wait a minute or so for the butter to cool, and toss well.

Drain the squash and transfer it to a large mixing bowl. Add the shallots, minced garlic, thyme, 1/2 cup salsa verde, and some pepper. Toss to combine, and add the cheese and half the butter-coated breadcrumbs. Toss again, and taste for seasoning. (The raw garlic will taste strong at this point but will be delicious when cooked.)

Place the squash in a pretty 9-by-9-inch (or similar) gratin dish. Scatter the remaining breadcrumbs over the top, and bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the squash is tender and the top is crisp.

Salsa Verde
1 teaspoon fresh marjoram or oregano leaves (1/2 teaspoon dried)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint
1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
3/4 cups extra-virgin-olive-oil”>extra-virgin olive oil
1 small clove garlic
1 anchovy
1 tablespoon salted capers, rinsed & drained
1/2 lemon, for juicing
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
Freshly ground black pepper

The authentic way of making salsa verde is to use a mortar and pestle, which you can do – simple ground all the solid ingredients and then mic through the liquids. But I often place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until combined. It does not need to be completely liquified – chunky is fine.

Source: Suzanne Goin

© 2012, Michelle. All rights reserved.

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