Sunday, August 10, 2014

Squash Caprese Bake

I just got back from studying abroad in Italy, and what great motivation to create good food! One of my favorite events we had planned was a cooking class in Florence. Oh, my. Benissimo!

I decided to use the fresh produce that my mom has newly harvested from her exploding garden to replicate the appetizer that we made.

It's a very simple "How To:"

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

You will need: 4 oven-safe ramekins, 2 medium sized yellow squash (zucchini or eggplant work very well for this also), 2 medium tomatoes, a block of Asiago cheese (or a cheese of your preference), salt, Panko breadcrumbs, basil, and olive oil.
Coat the inside of the ramekins thoroughly with olive oil.
Put a generous helping of Panko in each ramekin and, pouring the extra back into the Panko container, coat the inside of the ramekins with Panko. It will stick to the sides because of the olive oil.

Thinly slice the yellow squash, tomatoes, and cheese.

Put thin slices of yellow squash down first, enough to cover the bottom of the ramekin (it's OK if they overlap). On top of that put a slice of tomato. Then take a pinch of salt and sprinkle it on the tomato (because tomatoes looove salt). Next put a slice of cheese on top of that. You may have to break the cheese and arrange it to cover the top of the tomato.

Repeat that process one more time in that same ramekin. Then put thin slices of yellow squash on top of the last cheese layer. Drizzle a little bit of olive oil over it, and top with the Panko breadcrumbs.

You do this for all four ramekins, and put them in the oven for 15 minutes. The Panko should be a golden brown.

While you are waiting, cut the basil into thin ribbons. Top of your ramekins with basil, and enjoy!

*I also put a little bit of herbs de Provence on the tomatoes in one of my ramekins to add a little extra flavor.

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