Summer season Squash and Corn Casserole

Summer season Squash and Corn Casserole

Summer Squash and Corn Casserole is served with a lightly dressed salad and wine.
Summer season Squash and Corn Casserole is served with a frivolously dressed salad and wine.Amisha Gurbani/Particular to The Chronicle

Eggplant parmesan was one of many first dishes I attempted after I got here to America as an immigrant in 1999. Being a vegetarian — and a poor pupil — my choices have been restricted. My greatest buddy took me to Olive Backyard on my first week on this nation, and that’s the place I had my first style of eggplant parmesan. I immediately adored the dish. Bready, tacky, fried, tomato-y goodness — what was to not love? (In fact, with these garlicky breadsticks, too!)

This Summer season Squash and Corn Casserole is my riff on the eggplant parmesan. The eggplant is changed with squash slices, and as an alternative of a tomato sauce, I take advantage of corn bechamel. Corn, zucchini and a creamy sauce are a match made in heaven. Jalapeños add a beautiful spicy contact, and herbs like basil and chives give it a beautiful summer season freshness.

Since my children at the moment are out of faculty, I feel it’s the excellent time to get them concerned within the kitchen — as a result of all of us want life classes, as children and even after we are outdated. In my clever dad’s phrases, the educational by no means stops. I really like displaying my children how I take advantage of seasonal produce and the way we are able to make tasty dishes out of humble greens.

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Take into account this casserole my ode to all these stunning yellow and inexperienced squashes like zucchini, crookneck squash and the opposite varieties you see on the market, together with candy corn. Recent corn can go candy or savory; certainly one of as of late I’ll make a corn ice cream with cornbread chunks.

I admit, making this squash casserole — or eggplant parmesan, for that matter — generally is a barely laborious course of, and that’s precisely the place children turn out to be useful.

Thinly shaved squash slices are dunked in an meeting line of all-purpose flour, crushed eggs, and a combination of panko bread crumbs, parmesan cheese and herbs, earlier than being laid on trays to bake. Use a mandolin for even squash slices. My children love these baked slices particularly proper out of the oven: crispy, salty, crunchy and so good!

Then I make corn bechamel because the slices are cooling. The bechamel basically begins off with mixing butter and flour in a heated pan, to make a roux. Milk is added to the combination, together with corn and herbs, till it thickens. The bechamel comes collectively very quickly.

Then it’s meeting time: layering the baked squash slices, corn bechamel and cheese. The casserole is baked for about 20-25 minutes, till the sauce is effervescent on the aspect. It’s vital to let the pan relaxation as soon as it’s out of the oven in order that it’s not too scorching to eat if you serve — maybe with an arugula salad tossed in a easy lemon French dressing. Because the squash slices usually are not fried, the casserole feels mild, making for a terrific yard summer season meal. Take pleasure in it with some good crusty bread and chilled wine!

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Attain Amisha Gurbani: meals@sfchronicle.com

Summer Squash and Corn Casserole emerges from the oven.
Summer season Squash and Corn Casserole emerges from the oven.Amisha Gurbani/Particular to The Chronicle

Summer season Squash and Corn Casserole

On this riff on eggplant parmesan, I layer crispy baked summer season squash with a corn-flecked cream sauce and cheese. Jalapeños add a touch of spice, whereas herbs convey freshness.

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2 summer season squash (about 400 grams), sliced into ⅛-inch rounds

2 zucchini (about 400 grams), sliced into ⅛-inch rounds

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1 cup finely grated parmesan

1 teaspoon dried thyme or 2 teaspoons finely chopped contemporary thyme

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4 tablespoons unsalted butter

⅓ cup all-purpose flour

1 cup shucked corn (from about 1½ ears)

¼ cup finely chopped basil

¼ cup finely chopped chives

1¼ cups grated mozzarella

1¼ cups grated Monterey Jack cheese

2 tablespoons finely chopped chives

Bake the squash: Preheat the oven to 410 levels. Line two baking trays with parchment paper and set them apart.

Type an meeting line with the squash slices and three medium bowls: one bowl with eggs which have been crushed till homogeneous; a second bowl with the panko, parmesan, black pepper, salt, basil and thyme all combined collectively; and  a 3rd bowl with the all-purpose flour.

Utilizing a fork, dip a squash slice within the flour, faucet to take away extra flour, then dip it into the egg, letting any extra egg drip again into the bowl. Put the slice within the panko and use one other fork to cowl it with the breadcrumbs. Raise it as much as take away the surplus panko. Place the breaded slice on the baking tray. Repeat for all of the slices till each baking trays are full.

Spray all of the slices generously with the cooking spray.

Bake trays on the underside and center racks of the oven for about 25 minutes, till the panko appears frivolously golden brown. Change the trays midway by for even browning.

Take away and put aside. Go away the oven on.

Make the corn bechamel: Because the squash slices are cooling, put together the corn bechamel.

In a medium saucepan, on medium warmth, add the butter. As soon as melted, add the flour and whisk for two minutes till the combination appears mild brown in shade. That is the method for making a roux.

Add the entire milk and whisk till effectively mixed. Prepare dinner the combination till it thickens barely, about 4 minutes.

Add the jalapeños, corn, salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil and chives, and blend till effectively mixed. Flip off the warmth.

To assemble: In a medium bowl, mix the cheeses, and put aside.

Spray the within of an 8 inch-by-8 inch baking pan with cooking spray.

Add about ¾ cup of the bechamel on the backside and unfold it evenly.

Add a layer of baked squash slices neatly in rows, barely overlapping one another on the edges.

Unfold a couple of cup of bechamel evenly on high.

Add ¼ of the cheese combination and unfold it evenly on the bechamel.

Repeat the squash slices, bechamel and cheese for 2 extra layers. End with a squash layer, after which sprinkle the remaining cheeses evenly on high.

Bake for about 20-25 minutes, till the combination on the perimeters is effervescent.

Take away and relaxation for 15-20 minutes. Garnish with the chives. Serve with crusty bread, a aspect salad and a few wine.

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