Summer Squash Gratin Recipe
One of my main goals for 2013, both personally and for the blog, was to improve my food photography. I invested in a new DSLR camera, got a new lens, and some lights. I shoot a lot at night or in low natural light settings, so the lights were a must. But to be honest, all of the equipment in the world won’t give you more time to actually learn how to take better shots, so that’s what I’m focusing on now.
I took a great session with Hannah Kaminsky at Vida Vegan Con last weekend about food styling. I learned a lot of great tips and tricks to use and I hope to get started experimenting soon. I have not used any of those techniques here 🙂
This summer squash gratin is an easy way to mix things up during the week. I am usually quite lazy on weeknights and tend to make a lot of rice and steamed veggies (the husband, who is notoriously indifferent, sometimes requests ‘anything but steamed veggies’), so instead of steaming these bad boys, I decided to try something a little different.
This recipe is a little more involved than steaming vegetables, but not much. Never made a roux? No worries – it’s not hard, I promise. Sometimes with cooking, all you need to do is jump in and give it a try. Before I started cooking regularly, one thing that intimidated me was complicated terminology and/or recipes that had multiple pieces. Timing is important, but with this dish it’s not everything, which makes it a great place to start if you don’t cook that often.
The end result is a creamy, yet fresh dish that can be used as a side or main dish for your weeknight dinner. I baked this for about 20 minutes to allow for the gratin to set up, but not so much that the veggies lose their crispness. Feel free to sprinkle some bread crumbs on top before baking if you’re into that sort of thing!
- 1 Russet Potato
- 1 medium Zucchini
- 1 medium Yellow Squash
- 2 tbsp Earth Balance
- 2 tbsp Whole Wheat Flour
- 1 cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk (I used almond)
- 2 tbsp Nutritional Yeast
- 1 tbsp Yellow Mustard
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ⅛ tsp Black Pepper
- Fresh Herbs (your choice)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
- Peel the Russet potato and slice into ¼" rounds. Add the potatoes to a medium saucepan and cover with water - about 1-2" above the potatoes. Bring the water to a boil over medium-high heat, reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 minutes, or until tender (but not soft). Drain and set aside.
- Clean and slice the squash and zucchini into ¼" rounds. Begin layering the squash, potatoes, and zucchini in a lightly greased casserole dish. I did the yellow squash, potatoes, and zucchini (in that order), with a few rogue potatoes on top.
- In a medium saucepan, melt the Earth Balance over medium heat. Add the flour to the pan and whisk it until it begins to bubble. Pour in the milk and continue to whisk until it comes to boil. Remove from heat and stir until it begins to thicken. Stir in the nutritional yeast, mustard, and salt and pepper.
- Pour the sauce over the veggies in the casserole dish, being sure to coat the veggies evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, or until the top is lightly browned. Let cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. Top with fresh herbs and serve!
Do you have a weeknight go-to meal?