Guess what?! You get to see my face in this post, which is a real rarity, considering I take most of these pictures myself. I’m wondering if I don’t share enough about myself on my blog, so I’ll throw ya a bone. In case you don’t know, here are a few facts you may not know about me!
- It is my goal in life to read every Charles Dickens novel before I die. Nerd much? So far, I’ve read Bleak House, A Tale of Two Cities, Great Expectations, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, and Our Mutual Friend. And I’m only about halfway through them all!
- I started cooking in the shared kitchen in my college dorm. I had a ratty copy of a cookbook called “College Cooking” which had probably the simplest/worst recipes ever, but it taught me so much!
- I lived in a house with no kitchen for two years and once roasted a whole chicken in a toaster oven. You get creative in these situations, okay? But then you also do your dishes in the bathroom which is gross.
- I’m annoyingly good at spelling.
I’d love to hear about you! What inspired you to start cooking?
This recipe for Cheesy Squash Gratin is very similar to the one I learned while studying in France. It’s simple, homely, and sorry but who won’t eat vegetables when they’re covered in cheese? This is a great one to keep in your back pocket, so hang on to this, and let’s get started on this recipe!
First, there are CRACKERS in this recipe. I love a good saltine as much as the next guy, but they make pretty much the best topping for a gratin. Am I turning into a midwestern casserole queen? I grew up eating chicken casserole topped with a ritz cracker topping, and this is a friendly nod to that comforting dish.
So I start this recipe where any good cook does, with a little butter. Smear it all around a baking dish to prep it for baking. Then in a medium pot, we will cover our sliced potatoes in water and boil for five minutes and drain. Mix the potatoes together with the squash and zucchini in the baking dish so they’re evenly distributed.
To make our lovely cheesy sauce, we will bring a cup of cream and two cups of milk over high heat with some mustard, salt, nutmeg, and pepper. Then bring to a low simmer and add the flour and cheese, whisking over low until the sauce has thickened slightly.
Pour your lovely cheese sauce over the vegetables and then make your topping. In a food processor, add the saltines and butter. Pulse until it’s the texture of panko breadcrumbs. Then Sprinkle over your squash mixture. Top the dish with parmesan and black pepper and bake for 40 minutes.
You want it to get bubbly and brown. It’s the best.
Thanks for reading! Try the full recipe below.
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 large zucchini, sliced thinly
- 1 large summer squash, sliced thinly
- 2 medium russet potatoes, sliced thinly
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups milk
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- a pinch of nutmeg
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- fresh ground pepper
- 1 tbsp flour
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- ½ sleeve of saltines (about 18 crackers)
- 1 tbsp cold butter
- ½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- fresh ground pepper
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Rub an 8x11 baking dish on the inside with the butter. In a medium pot, add the potato slices, cover with water and cover the dish over high heat until it boils. Boil for about 5 minutes. Drain in a colander. Pour the squash, zucchini and potatoes into the baking dish, sprinkle with salt and mix them together in the dish.
- In a medium pot, add the heavy cream, milk, mustard, nutmeg, salt and a couple grinds of pepper. Bring to high heat and when it starts to bubble, bring down to a simmer. Add the parmesan and flour and whisk together until mixture is slightly thickened but still pretty thin. Pour the hot milk mixture over the squash mixture in the baking dish.
- In a food processor add the crackers and remaining tablespoon of butter. Process until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Sprinkle over the squash mixture evenly. Sprinkle the remaining half cup of grated parmesan over the whole dish. Add a few grinds of black pepper and bake for 40 minutes or until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbling.