It’s August, the summer days are long, and the garden is thriving. Which means lots of grilling out in the backyard, and if your garden is anything like mine, lots of zucchini and squash. Lots and lots. So I’ve decided to have a food theme for the month of August, and you guessed it, it’s zucchini and squash. Each week I will share one of my favorite recipes for using all of summer’s abundant vegetables without getting tired of ways to prepare them. So whether you love to garden and have more of these delicious vegetables than you know what to do with, or you are picking them up from your local farmer’s market, I will do my best to bring you inspiration and variety when it comes to what to do with all that zucchini.
First, I’d like to start with a little nutritional background on zucchini and summer squash. The dietary fiber in zucchini helps to lower cholesterol, the Vitamins A and C are both antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. Zucchinis are also a great source of potassium. Plus they are a great carb substitute and have very little calories.
My first recipe is zucchini and squash gratin, and it is the mostly enjoyed in my household. This is my favorite go to side for effortless grilling. We serve it regularly with grilled chicken as well as grilled sausages. I’ve also served it with chimmichuri steaks and it was amazing. I love this dish as a carb alternative to a stable side that offers lots of savory flavors. I grow all of these herbs in my garden, so I can go outside and grab a little bit of each whenever I make this dish. You can really use any combination of these herbs fresh and dried.
Zucchini and Squash Gratin
makes one 9″ x 9″ dish. Serves 4.
- 3 medium size zucchini and squash total. (depends on what the garden gives me)
- 1 6 oz piece of pecorino
- a handful of fresh herbs of each of the following: basil, oregano, parsley and thyme. (if using dried instead, 1 teaspoon of each herb that is dried)
- drizzle of olive oil
Preheat over to 350 degrees. Chopped zucchini and squash into about an inch size bites. Shred the pecorino on super fine. I like to shred the cheese really fine as I like the texture and it gives the illusion of more cheese. Set aside 1/3 of cheese. Mix the other 2/3 cheese with all the squash and zucchini. Throw in the chopped, fresh herbs. Drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil into the mixture and toss very well. Season with salt and pepper. Place the squash mixture into a 9″ x 9″ dish pan. Bake for 30 minutes. Then take the pan out and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese. Bring the over to a broil. Reheat the pan just long enough for the cheese to become browned. Keep you eyes on the oven… It will happen pretty quick.
Take and and cool for just a few minutes. Serve and enjoy.