Total Time
2hrs
Prep 1 hr
Cook 1 hr

What a perfect way to celebrate Summer's Bounty, than with a fresh vegetable bake that uses common items from your Summer garden? The flavours burst in your mouth, and despite the bacon and cheese, this is NOT a heavy dish! I served it with Dijon-Tarragon Cream Chicken and cornbread slices. NOTE I: the original recipe was from a free pamphlet and had the most vague of ingredient ratios and instructions. It took 1/2 a day for me to get the proportions correct so ANYBODY could make it and enjoy it! NOTE II: This site won't allow the word "heaping" for cup measurements. Use a HEAPING CUP OF VEGGIES or you'll run short!

Ingredients Nutrition

  • 12 lb bacon
  • 2 cups vidalia onions (coarsely chopped, totaling 2 cups) or 2 cups other sweet onion (coarsely chopped, totaling 2 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cups summer squash (3-4 small to medium summer squash, sliced into half moons 1/2-inch thick, totaling 2 cups)
  • 2 cups fresh tomatoes (4-5 FRESH tomatoes, cut into quarters, then each quarter cut in half, totaling 2 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder, divided for each layer
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, ground
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese (finely shredded variety)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs (quantity varies upon your taste. I use about 3/4's cup)
  • olive oil, to drizzle over crumbs

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the bacon until VERY crisp and set aside. Once cooled, break into thumb-sized pieces.
  2. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9" x 9" square baking pan. MUST be 9"; 8" x 8" is too small!
  3. Heat Texas skillet with 1 tablespoon of butter and olive oil. Place the 2 cups of coarsely chopped onions into a Texas skillet; stir to coat with butter/oil and cover, sautéing over medium heat. Cook until they begin to soften and turn soft yellow.
  4. When onions begin to soften, add the yellow squash half moons. Stir to combine. Cover and cook until squash just begins to change colour and becomes slightly tender.
  5. Add the minced fresh basil to the fresh tomato chunks. Stir to combine.
  6. When onions are soft and yellow and squash is beginning to soften, remove from heat and set on heat pad, near 9" x 9" pan.
  7. Place 1/2 (1 cup) of the onion-squash mixture in the bottom of the buttered pan. It will NOT thoroughly cover the bottom; that's okay!
  8. Very lightly sprinkle Sea Salt, Freshly Cracked Pepper and Garlic Powder over Onion-Squash mixture. Top with 1 cup of the Tomato-Basil mixture.
  9. Layer 1/2 of the crumbled bacon on top of this first layer. Top bacon with 1 cup of finely shredded Cheddar Cheese.
  10. Repeat layering: Onion-Squash; Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder; Tomato-Basil; Bacon and Cheddar Cheese.
  11. Add Panko bread crumbs to cover mixture. 3/4's to 1 cup, your choice. Drizzle olive oil over crumbs.
  12. Place in 350 degree oven, UNCOVERED, for about 1 hour, or until crumbs are golden brown.
  13. Take out of oven, place on heat-proof surface, allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. This holds the heat! Eat with care and enjoy!