We’ve had a lot of fun trying out new summer squash recipes this year! It’s surprising how many things you can do with the first squash of the season. This tian is similar to a gratin, with bread crumbs layered throughout. It’s also completely vegan and gets a lot of flavor from olive oil, and breadcrumbs toasted with curry powder. Making your own breadcrumbs is really easy, check out our post from June. Fresh breadcrumbs taste better, and you can choose what kind of bread you like making it easy to use gluten-free or whole grain bread. For this batch I used a multi-grain baguette. I made a lot more than I would need for just this recipe and stored the leftovers in the freezer.
Sun-dried tomatoes and fresh rosemary add a lot of flavor to the dish, it’s an unlikely combo with the curry but the flavors go together really nicely. When the breadcrumbs are ready, grab a skillet or sauté pan for toasting. This recipe uses a lot of olive oil at different stages, about a half cup total. I just measure out a little less than half a cup of oil, and kept a tablespoon measure with it for adding as necessary.
We’ve had really nice spring onions in the shares for the past few weeks, generally I find that 2 spring onions is a good sub for one large onion in recipes and vice versa. The onions are cooked down until they’re very soft and starting to brown, then the sun-dried tomatoes and wine are added to the pan and simmered with the rosemary.
The onions are simmered in the same pan as the breadcrumbs. While the onions are cooking, slice the summer squash into thin, uniform slices. You’ll use 7 cups in total.
Layer the onions, squash, and breadcrumbs in that order three times. Start layering the squash at the edges, overlapping as you go. Top the breadcrumbs with olive oil, and then bake the whole thing for one to one and a half hours. The squash should be very tender, my batch was perfect at one hour and ten minutes.
Summer Squash Tianadapted from the New York Times
1 tablespoon curry powder
a scant half cup olive oil
1 1/4 cups whole-wheat or regular panko bread crumbs
2 teaspoons sea salt
2 spring onions or 1 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, julienned
1/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon black pepper, more to taste
7 cups thinly sliced summer squash (any variety), about 3-4 medium sized squash.
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. If using dry tomatoes, cover in boiling water and let soak for 20 minutes. Drain and julienne if necessary. (I like to buy them already julienned).
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add curry powder and let toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then stir in bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer breadcrumbs to a bowl and wipe out skillet.
In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat, then add onions and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until onions are a deep golden brown. Add sun-dried tomatoes and wine. Bring to a simmer, scraping up any brown bits. Simmer until most of the wine is reduced. Remove from heat and stir in black pepper.
Grease inside of a medium-size gratin dish with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and spread a third of the onion and sun-dried tomato mixture on the bottom. Begin layering zucchini in an overlapping pattern, beginning around the outside and working your way in. Sprinkle with a third of the bread crumbs. Repeat layering two more times, ending with bread crumbs. Drizzle 3 tablespoons olive oil over bread crumbs and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until vegetables are extremely tender and top has browned.
Gluten free variation: Use gluten free breadcrumbs or make your own.