In this high season of summer, it’s natural to write about what’s inspiring right now. Mostly summer vegetables and beautiful gardens. Squash, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers.
Summer squash, tomatoes and eggplant are delicious in a simple layered dish cooked quickly to keep the kitchen cool. Layer with rich cheese, dust with panko and parmesan, and voila – you have dinner!
Puree fresh tomatoes, cucumbers and peppers to make a delicious gazpacho. Season with a chili and garlic, and drizzle with good olive oil and sriracha for a cool, filling drink or soup to start your meal.
For a little more complicated squash dish, my favorite:
Summer Squash Cheese Custard
2 large yellow squash, sliced into ½-inch rounds (about 4 cups)
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 large clove garlic, chopped
3 ounces goat cheese or other cheese, grated
¼ cup cornmeal
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus sprigs for garnishing
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Steam the squash until tender. Saute onion and garlic until tender.
Drain squash. Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into an 8-by-8-inch baking dish or 6 individual ramekins that have been coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400°F for 40 minutes (35 minutes for the ramekins) or until golden brown on top. Serve warm or at room temperature.