Thursday, September 6, 2012

Summer Vegetable Casserole

Squash, zucchini, tomatoes... summer bounty! It's the end of the season, and we're all looking for ways to use the warm weather harvest. I decided to put my favorite warm weather veggies into a casserole-- perfect for when the days are getting cool enough to heat up your oven. Baked with a layer of crunchy panko breadcrumbs on top, it's a crisp and flavorful way to enjoy an end-of-summer dinner.

  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 4 TBSP butter, plus a little extra for the baking dish
  • 1 summer squash, sliced thin
  • 1 zucchini, sliced thin
  • 1 1/2 large beefsteak tomatoes, sliced thin (approximately 2 cups)
  • 1/2 large onion, diced (approximately 1/2 cup)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch asparagus, broiled and cut into 1 inch pieces (Need instructions for how to broil asparagus? I shared a recipe a while back--
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 TBSP italian seasoning
  • 3 cups "italian blend" cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, provolone, fontina, etc.)
  • salt and pepper (on the asparagus), to taste
To Make
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Heat up a skillet, add the olive oil, and sauté the onions and garlic until translucent and lightly browned. Add a little salt if you like. 
  3. Grease an 8x8 baking pan with butter. 
  4. Layer your casserole: First a zucchini and squash layer, then onions and garlic, then asparagus, then tomatoes, then cheese. Repeat until you reach the top of the pan and top with cheese. 
  5. Melt the 4 TBSP butter and stir into the panko and italian herbs. 
  6. Top the casserole with the panko blend and any remaining cheese. 
  7. Cover the dish with foil and bake, covered, for 25-30 minutes.
  8. Uncover the baking dish, raise the temperature of the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and bake the casserole for another 5-10 minutes... until the breadcrumbs are golden brown. Be sure to keep an eye of things during this stage; the breadcrumbs can burn very easily.
  9. Allow the cooked casserole to rest for 10 or so minutes before serving to give it the opportunity to set.

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