Good morning! I know it’s been a while since my last post, but life has been a bit of a whirlwind around here. Several of my friends have been moving out and moving in, since it’s that time of year when leases start and end, and we’ve had several friends from in town, out of town, and out of state come and visit. To top it all off, volleyball preseason is in full swing, which means occasional 12-14 hour days for me with their various tournaments and games. But through it all, I still have found some time to cook on my afternoons off, and of all the recipes I’ve made recently, this is my favorite. I saw this recipe on Minimalist Baker and I was inspired. It’s such a pretty dish, and I feel like I haven’t taken full advantage of my cast iron skillet, so I decided it’s time to start. I used the idea of a caramelized onion base, and adjusted the other vegetables to my tastes. It’s much simpler to prepare than it looks, and can be made in about an hour, with half of that being baking time, so the hands-on time really isn’t bad.
For this gratin, I wanted to use summer vegetables, so I picked tomatoes, zucchini, and yellow squash. This also gave me a nice variety of colors. If you want, you could add eggplant too, for little pop of purple and some extra flavor. The base layer of this gratin was caramelized onion, which I haven’t made often, but it’s so worth the extra time. As you can see from the stove clock in the pictures, it only took 12 minutes to go from raw onions to perfect caramelized deliciousness.
In any case, the result of the caramelized onion base and tender roasted vegetables topped with a layer of cheese as pure deliciousness. The vegetables and onions released their juices in the oven, so it was perfect to serve over warm brown rice, since the rice soaked up the savory sauce. While this isn’t the quickest meal to make, it’s not as labor-intensive as it looks, and it’s so worth the time!
Tomato and Summer Squash Gratin
1 yellow onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
1 medium zucchini, sliced
1 medium yellow squash, sliced
4 Roma tomatoes, sliced
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
Heat olive oil in a cast iron skillet over medium low heat. Add the garlic and onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are caramelized, about 10-15 minutes. Once the onions are done cooking, preheat the oven to 400˚F.
While the oven preheats, layer the tomatoes, zucchini, and squash slices. I placed mine in a spiral pattern, but if you don’t have as much time, it would also work just to layer them flat on top of each other. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and the cheese is melted. Serve warm over rice or another grain. Enjoy!