Fresh Tomato and Summer Squash Bake

Recipe by The_Swedish_Chef
READY IN: 2hrs
SERVES: 4-6
UNITS: US

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

  • 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!