This is one of my favorite summer dishes. Some of my friends actually wait for me to make this dish the minute summer squash is in season. The key to this dish is its lightness - by using fresh tomato, garlic and basil instead of sauce and not overloading it with cheese, normally-heavy parmesan becomes a light summer dish. Serve with penne that has just a little butter, garlic, fresh basil and parmesan cheese. Serves 4-6.
- 4 large summer squash, sliced in 1/8″ slices lengthwise
- 1-2 eggs, beaten with a bit of water
- 1-2 cups Italian seasoned bread crumbs
- 4 tbsp olive oil
- 4-5 plum tomatoes
- 1 smallish package fresh basil, leaves removed and julienned
- 3 cloves garlic, minced fine
- 1 cup (seriously, just 1 cup) shredded mozzarella
- salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Drizzle 2 cookie sheets with 2 tbsp olive oil each (double check when you slice the squash; you might be able to get away with one sheet) Coat the slices of summer squash, first with egg wash and then with bread crumbs, and lay the breaded slices side to side on the oiled cookie sheets. Bake at 400 for about 20 minutes, until tender. Remove from oven, and raise heat to 425 degrees.
Put a layer of squash at the bottom of an 8″ square glass pan. Slice enough tomato to cover the layer evenly; make sure to sprinkle the juice and seeds of the tomato (they’ll spill out) over the layer of squash. Sprinkle with 1/3 of the minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste, and 1/3 of the basil. Continue the layering process until all the squash is used up (you should have about three layers - try eating any leftovers as-is. They’re terrific). Bake at 425 for 10 minutes, until cheese is browned.