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Summer Vegetable Gratin

Posted at Foodie Friday

I loathe turning on the oven in hot weather. The kitchen, dining, livingroom area is all open plan so the oven tends to make that whole area of the house feel fairly uncomfortable. I love being in the kitchen, but not when it's that hot. The husband, however, had been complaining about our recent pasta-centric diet so I decided to turn on the oven last night.

The recipe sounds a bit fiddly, but really it's not that bad. The taste is really surprisingly good, I served it with grilled chicken and some fresh crusty bread on the side.

Summer Vegetable Gratin

extra virgin olive oil
1 zucchini, ends trimmed and slived crosswise into 1/4 inch thick rounds
1 yellow summer squash, prepared the same way as the zucchini
salt (I used kosher salt but you can use whatever kind)
1 tomato (I used two because mine were the smaller vine ripened ones) sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 onion, halved and sliced thin.
1 garlic clove, minced
ground black pepper
dried thyme
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
chopped fresh basil

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Brush a shallow baking/casserole dish with some of the oil and set aside.

I love my wooden chopping board. Best anniversary gift EVER. Thanks honey! As you can see it's already been used a whole lot.

Toss the zucchini and summer squash is 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a colander set over a bowl and let it sit for about 30 mins. Then spread the slices out on a paper towel and gently press them dry with more paper towels.

Meanwhile spread the tomato slices out onto paper towels, sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt and let sit for 30 minutes. Press the tops of them dry with more paper towels. (This recipe seems heavy on the paper towels. Thank God for recycling.)

While they're sitting, heat up a skillet with a little olive oil (about 2 teaspoons) over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook for about 15 minutes, basically until it's soften and golden brown. Put it into a bowl and set aside.

Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme in a small bowl. Toss the zucchini and summer squash with half of the mixture and then arrange them in the prepared casserole dish. Arrange the onions evenly over the top and then the tomatoes on top of that. Spoon the remainder of the olive oil/garlic mix over the top.

Throw it in the oven and bake until it starts to brown at the edges (about 30 minutes) then pull it out and sprinkle the Parmesan Cheese on top. Put it back in for another 10 minutes or so. Let it sit for 10 minutes before serving and sprinkle with the basil.

Ignore my messy glass top stove. I need to clean that.

Yum. Drying the veggies before they go in stops it from turning into a soupy mess (been there, done that). The onion and garlic really makes the flavour, it was a sure hit in my house... even Mikey ate every last bit of his!

(P.S. This recipe serves around 2 people)

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I am a 24 year old British stay at home mother to a two year old boy. Married to a U.S. soldier and currently living in Germany.

I have seen the Vatican from the very top of St Peter's Basilica, the mud in the World War I trenches outside Ypres. I have walked through Montmartre side streets bustling with people in the evening, gotten lost in the streets of Greenwich Village NYC, run through cornfields on the Welsh border and sat outside with a cup of tea watching fireflies in the fields of the outer Chicago suburbs.

I have held the hands of others through addiction, fear, suicide, despair and come out the other side. I have left everything behind to begin anew.
I have fought mental illness and walked through snow in the mountains of the lake district, England. I have explored the morgue in the bowels of an abandoned hospital on a summer evening, climbed to the top of scaffolding on the outside of a five floor warehouse to look at the city lights of Nottingham at night and I have watched the sun setting on the Texas horizon.

I have held my son's tiny hand through the plastic window on an isolette in the NICU ward. Walked, speaking only in whispers, through the catacombs beneath the ground on the outskirts of Rome and seen the fireworks over Heidelberg castle.