Category Archives: cheesy

summer squash gratin

After our trip to the u-pick vegetable farm over labor day weekend, we came home with 10 pounds of summer squash and zucchini. Summer squashes seem to be priced somewhat high here in Seattle so I haven’t had the chance to get tired of my usual ways of preparation. Gratins are a good way to use up lot of vegetables, especially if you like crispy breadcrumbs and melty cheese. I really liked this recipe because it added flavor with a salsa verde and not with lots of cream or butter. The only unfortunate part about this recipe is the amount of dishes involved to make seemingly one dish (food processor x2, mandolin, colander, several bowls, a small skillet), but the results are so tasty that I wouldn’t mind making this again at all.

 

 

Summer Squash Gratin

adapted from food52

note: I didn’t have any gruyere on hand and instead used some soft goat cheese (chevre) and delicious goat gouda. The gouda is not super melty like gruyere, but I really liked the combination of the pillowy soft goat cheese with the sharper, earthier gouda.

Also, I used a bigger gratin dish to accommodate more squash and more crispy topping, but the recipe recommended using a 9″x9″ pan.

2 pounds summer squash/zucchini, thinly sliced on that mandolin

1.5 c fresh breadcrumbs (i used whole wheat)

2 tbsp butter

handfuls of your cheeses of choice; i used goat cheese and gouda

small handful of capers, roughly chopped

sprinkle of thyme leaves

salsa verde:

1 stem of oregano with the leaves stripped off

1 stem of mint with leaves stripped off

1 large bunch parsley, destemmed

small handful of basil

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 hot chile pepper of your choice, seeded

1 tsp miso paste (i use this a lot for some umani)

1/2 large lemon, both zest and juice

olive oil

Toss the sliced squash with a generous pinch of salt and set to drain in a colander, about 10 minutes. Drain and shake off excess moisture.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

In a small food processor, make the salsa verde. Combine the herbs, garlic, chile, miso, and lemon juice and zest. With the processor running, stream in the olive oil until smooth. Sometimes, in order to save some money and calories, I use a bit of veg broth, but don’t tell anyone! Season well.

Toss the sliced squash with the salsa verde in a large bowl. In a small skillet, brown the butter and toss in the bread crumbs. Butter the gratin dish and layer in the prepared squash. Sprinkle with capers and thyme leaves. Dollop on the goat cheese, if using, and sprinkle on the firmer cheese. Finish with a layer of breadcrumbs. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or until the squash is tender, cheese is melted, and the breadcrumbs crispy.

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raw kale salad

Kale is my most favorite vegetable. We usually eat at least two or three big bunches of it a week. Now that it is summertime and I really don’t want to turn the stove on, we eat a variation of this kale salad more often than I care to admit. After all, I am suppose to be running a food blog and trying all of these new recipes all the time, right? However, when it is summertime, especially in the Pacific Northwest, I generally eat a lot of fresh and raw foods and about 75% of my diet is berries.

This kale salad is way tastier than you think it will be. Lemony, cheesy dressing, crispy breadcrumbs, and pleasantly chewy kale? Yes, please.

A Raw Kale Salad

1 bunch of lacinato (aka dino, tuscan, or black) kale, washed, stems stripped, and sliced into think ribbons

1 clove of garlic, peeled and grated with a microplane

1 lemon

2 tbsp (or more) grated parmesan cheese OR nutritional yeast (this is a fairly common vegan ingredient and can be found at whole foods or similar stores, and it really tastes sort of cheesy)

big pinch of crushed red pepper

olive oil, salt and pepper

fresh bread crumbs, well toasted and crispy

Make the dressing:

In the serving bowl, grate in the garlic and the zest from the lemon. Add the lemon juice, red pepper, cheese/nutritional yeast, and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk in olive oil, a couple of tablespoons, until the dressing is thinned out. If you need more liquid, add a bit of water or vegetable stock. Toss the kale in the dressing. You can let the kale marinate and break down a bit or just serve it as is. Top with the toasted bread crumbs and enjoy!

Note: Sometimes, I add a ripe avocado to this, by mashing 1/3 in with the dressing and cutting the rest into small cubes and add it to the salad with the kale. The acidic dressing will keep the avocado from browning.

Oh, and I have starting making this summer’s jams! Today i made this delicious vanilla rhubarb jam. Yum.

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Filed under cheesy, greens, quick

broccoli, cheese, and rice

this was a requested dish at thanksgiving, but also good for this time of year.  it is a sort of retro creamy casserole dish that i tried to make a bit lighter and healthier with a bit of modern spicing.  and very tasty!  leftovers keep pretty well and make a very tasty lunch.

broccoli and rice casserole

1 cup brown rice or white rice

1-2 tbsp olive oil or butter

1 or 2 stalks of celery diced

1 smallish onion finely diced

1 large head of broccoli cut into small florets

4 oz neufchatel cheese or cream cheese

1/4 -1/2 tsp smoked paprika (i think this is my favorite spice right now)

parmigiano and/or nicely aged cheddar

breadcrumbs

cook the brown rice in your favorite manner and drain.  while the rice is cooking, in a deep, wide skillet, sautee the celery and onion in the olive oil or butter until soft and starting to brown.  sprinkle in the smoked paprika.  add the broccoli and a splash of water or stock and cover and steam for a couple minutes.  cut the neufchatel cheese into small pieces and drop into the veggies and stir until everything is coated.  add the cooked rice and grate in your desired amount of parm or cheddar.  mix well and pour into a baking dish.  melt a bit more butter and toss in some breadcrumbs.  top the rice mixture with the butter breadcrumbs and slide the casserole into a 350-375 oven and bake until bubbly.

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Filed under cheesy, grains, vegetables