Turn your back for five minutes and suddenly there are zucchini a foot long in every vegetable garden. Summer is in full swing, and summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash, crookneck squash, and pattypan squash) are super versatile; great shredded as a raw salad, grilled with garlic, or, as I did this week when it was too hot to stand over my grill, baked with a generous coating of breadcrumbs and Parmesan.
It's hard to mess this one up. Cook it quickly and you have a toothsome side dish, perfect the next day as a cold salad. Cook it a bit longer and the result is a soft, casserole-like preparation to complement meat, or served as a vegetarian main dish. I served it with a bowl of pasta with kale pesto and it was the perfect quick weeknight meal.
Baked Summer Squash
2 pounds summer squash (zucchini, pattypan squash, yellow crookneck squash)
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup bread crumbs
1/2 teaspoon flaked salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Remove the stem ends and slice the squash cross-wise in 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Toss with the olive oil.
In a small bowl, combine the bread crumbs, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Arrange the squash rounds in a 9x12-inch rectangular baking dish, or 10-inch pie plate. Sprinkle the bread crumb mixture over.
Cover the baking dish with foil and bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another five minutes until the top is bubbling and crispy.
This recipe has been updated — first published August 2008