Recipe by The_Swedish_Chef
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!
- 1⁄2 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 See How It's Made
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cook the bacon until VERY crisp and set aside. Once cooled, break into thumb-sized pieces.
- Butter the bottom and sides of a 9" x 9" square baking pan. MUST be 9"; 8" x 8" is too small!
- 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.
- 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.
- Add the minced fresh basil to the fresh tomato chunks. Stir to combine.
- 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.
- 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!
- Very lightly sprinkle Sea Salt, Freshly Cracked Pepper and Garlic Powder over Onion-Squash mixture. Top with 1 cup of the Tomato-Basil mixture.
- Layer 1/2 of the crumbled bacon on top of this first layer. Top bacon with 1 cup of finely shredded Cheddar Cheese.
- Repeat layering: Onion-Squash; Salt, Pepper, Garlic Powder; Tomato-Basil; Bacon and Cheddar Cheese.
- Add Panko bread crumbs to cover mixture. 3/4's to 1 cup, your choice. Drizzle olive oil over crumbs.
- Place in 350 degree oven, UNCOVERED, for about 1 hour, or until crumbs are golden brown.
- 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!