Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Lighter Squash Casserole

One of my absolute favorite side dishes growing up was hands down squash casserole and it is still a requested dish every time I visit my Mom.  Since squash are usually at their peak in the Summer months I have come up with a lighter version that cuts the baking requirement.

Serves 4

2 large zucchini
2 large yellow squash
1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsps dried thyme
1/4 to 1/2 tsp crush red pepper flakes
1/2 cup bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar
1/4 cup shredded pecorino or parmesan
1/4 cup of water
salt & pepper to taste

Start by toasting the bread crumbs in 1 tbsp of butter until golden brown, set aside.

Slice zucchini and squash into 1/4 inch thick disks increasing to 1 inch when getting to the smaller end of the squash.  Bloom thyme and red pepper flakes in olive or grape seed oil, you will know when they have bloomed when you can smell the spices but, be careful as they can easily burn.  Once spices have bloomed; add zucchini and squash mixing until thoroughly coated with spices and oil, add garlic and water, cover and let steam until tender, stirring periodically.

Once tender, sprinkle with bread crumbs, cheeses and dot with remaining tablespoon of butter.  Put under a broiler until the cheese has melted and the top is golden brown.

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