These two summertime favorites are great together and when you add cheese and herbs well…it doesn’t get much better. Summer Squash are packed with nutrients like potassium and vitamin C, although not as densely as their winter cousins the Pumpkin, Acorn, and Butternut due to their high water content. Zucchini, Crookneck (yellow) and Pattypan (what I know as Summer Squash) are made of 95% water which make them an ideal choice for weight release. Their high water content also helps the body stay hydrated in the hot weather and the carotenes protect us from sun damage. Summer Squash contain very powerful anti-cancer effects that might surprise you as to how well they prevent cell mutations.
On a hot day I love to make a cool salad with cubed zucchini, halved cherry or grape tomatoes, red onion, feta and fresh herbs with a lemon-olive oil dressing. Recently I opened an e-mail from my Pampered Chef friend and saw a great image of veggies stacked in a baking dish. From there, I was inspired to convert my delicious salad into a hot side dish or great veggie main with a cheesy, crunchy topping and yes, another great opportunity to use my Convection Steam Oven 🙂
Inspired by this Pampered Chef recipe:
- 1 large yellow squash
- 1 large zucchini close in size to the yellow one
- 1 red heirloom tomato
- 1 yellow heirloom tomato
- 1 red onion
- 1 bunch fresh thyme
- 4 oz. shredded organic mozzarella
- 6 oz. Crumbled Feta with Mediterranean Herbs
- 1 T. butter
- cut squash and zucchini into ½ " slices and set aside separately
- slice the tomatoes the same width and also separate by color
- slice whole red onion into very thin slices
- chop about 2 T. thyme
- Salt and pepper
- Breadcrumb Mixture:
- 3 T. butter melted
- ¼ - ⅓ c. gluten-free breadcrumbs ( I used Rudi's and made my own)
- 3 T. Mozzarella
- Butter two mini rectangular baking tins. Create a stack of veggies and cheese. Start with a large slice of either zucchini or squash, then add a slice of contrasting tomato followed by a delicate ring of red onion topped with a sprinkling of feta, thyme and mozzarella. Repeat until stack is a high as your bake ware is long taking care not to topple it! This is why we use the mini tins 🙂
- Carefully transfer the stack into its horizontal state inside the baking tin. This is tricky but if you slide a good spatula under the stack and hold the top layer with your "oh so clean" hands using enough downward pressure to keep things together but not too much or you'll squeeze out the filling! If it's a bit shy of full, add more slices and or cheese to fill up the tin. Remember, the veggies shrink during cooking.
- Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese and more thyme as desired.
- Place on lower rack in CSO. Set to Bake Steam. Set at 350 for 25 minutes.
- Remove baking tin from oven, top with breadcrumb mixture and return to CSO still on the lower rack.
- Set to broil at 400 for 3 minutes.