Chef Vartan Abgaryan’s Summer Squash Casserole
At this time of year, gardens and Farmers’ Markets are overflowing with beautiful summer squash. To help you use up that bounty and keep it interesting, Chef Vartan is sharing his recipe for a Summer Squash Casserole. And you can refrigerate the tomato jam to use with other dishes. It’s lovely as a topping on a simple omelette for brunch! Enjoy!
Summer Squash Casserole
Green Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Moroccan Tomato Jam
Za’atar spiced breadcrumbs,crispy shallots
Moroccan Tomato Jam
- 2 lemons, ends trimmed
- 1 Tbs. cumin seeds, toasted
- 3 cinnamon sticks, each about 3 inches long
- 20 juniper berries
- 10 whole cloves
- 1/2 tsp. Black peppercorns
- 4 cardamom pods, cracked
- 5 allspice berries
- 2 lb. cherry tomatoes, stemmed
- 2 cups sugar
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 1 medium jalapeño, preferably red, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
- 1 cup Champagne vinegar
- 3 Tbs. fresh lime juice
- 1 Tbs. molasses
- 1 piece fresh ginger, about 3 inches long, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
Cut the lemons crosswise into very thin half-moons.
Place the cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, juniper berries, cloves, peppercorns, cardamom pods and allspice berries in a piece of cheesecloth and tie to make a sachet. Set aside.
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the tomatoes, sugar and butter and bring to a boil.
Cook, stirring constantly with a spatula and scraping the sides and bottom of the pan to prevent the sugar from burning, for 6 to 8 minutes; the tomatoes will split and release their juices. Add the lemon slices and jalapeño and boil for 3 minutes more.
Stir in the vinegar, lime juice, molasses and ginger. Add the spice sachet and return the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer gently until the jam has reduced by half, 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in the salt and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the jam has thickened, 10 to 20 minutes more. Let cool to room temperature. Discard the spice sachet!
1 cup dry thyme
1/4 cup dry oregano
1/4 cup black sesame seeds
1/4 cup white sesame seeds
1 cup sumac
2T toasted and ground cumin
Mix and reserve in air tight container!
4 shallots, peeled ansthinly sliced into rings
2 cups corn starch
Coat shallots and pan fry in oil at 325 degrees till golden and crisp
Season with salt
Squash and Zucchini
4 green Zucchini
4 yellow summer squash
4T olive oil
1/2 t pepper
Using a mandolin or a knife, slice thin rings, keeping like colors in individual bowls. Dress with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and za’atar!
2 cups of diced old bread
4T grated Parmesan
Toast bread until dried out, using a food processor, process into coarse breadcrumbs
Add cheese and za’atar and set aside.
Build the casserole
In a deep oven proof pan, spread a thin later of Tomato jam and spread a layer of squash and zucchini in alternating color tightly shingled!
Spread the later with tomato jam and repeat the process one more time to have to even layers of Jam and zucchini
Place in oven at 350 and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Remove from oven and top with za’atar breadcrumbs and broil for 2 minutes! Top with crispy shallots and some fresh herbs dressed with Lemon juice and olive oil.