My friends Jon and Eva have a CSA box subscription from Mariquita Farms. CSA boxes are amazing—fresh vegetables, grown locally, and delivered to you on a weekly basis. What could be better than that? In any case, this week they are out of town, so Jon called me up and donated their box to the “Emily Eats Everything fund” or, as I heard it while riding the bus, the “Emily Cheats Everything fund”. I blame Muni ears. Anywho.
The box was full of a bunch of goodies: gem lettuce, radishes, ruby crescent potatoes, basil, tomatoes, shishito peppers, onions, and summer squash.
Now, I’ve never been the biggest squash fan. Don’t get me wrong—I love vegetables of all shapes and sizes, but for some reason I’ve never been crazy about squash. But I’m down for experimenting!
So I saw a delicious-looking recipe for a white bean gratin the other day. And today, when I was trying to figure out how to tackle the squash in the box, I decided what better idea than to take the idea of that bean gratin and bring some squash into the picture. The result was mighty tasty, and I even thought it could use more squash!
What to Use:
- 1 can cannelini beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 medium summer squash, sliced 1/4 inch thick
- 1 medium yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 c white wine (or some combo of stock/wine)
- 1 c grated cheese (I used a combination of parmesan, gruyere, and fontina)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Salt & Pepper
- A dash each of oregano, red pepper flakes, & thyme
- Pine nuts (optional, for sprinkling on top prior to baking)
- Torn basil leaves (optional, for serving)
What to do:
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Toss the squash with 1 tsp kosher or sea salt and set aside in a bowl for about 10 minutes to draw some moisture out (prepare to be amazed as to how much moisture will come out!).
- Saute the onions in the olive oil with the oregano, thyme, and pepper flakes over medium heat, until just soft. Grate the garlic in (or add it in, minced), and continue to cook the onions until just golden.
- Add the beans and cook for a couple of minutes before adding the wine. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer to reduce for a while (clearly a specific amount of time). Basically, you just want a few tablespoons of liquid left.
- Dump the contents of your pan into your blender or food processor and zip all of it together for a bit. Stop your blender when you still see some whole beans on top but mostly creamy bean puree. Resist shoveling all of that in your mouth at once.
- Drain and pat your squash dry. Gawk in amazement at the sheer volume of liquid that comes out of those suckers.
- Toss the beans and the squash together in a bowl with half of the cheese, and mix together thoroughly. Pour this delicious mixture into a baking dish of your choice and top with remaining cheese, as well as some pine nuts if you are so inclined.
- Put the whole shebang in the oven and bake until browned on top and bubbly, about 30 or so minutes.
- Proceed to shovel into your mouth (maybe top with some shredded basil first).
This was crazy good. My roommate asked me “What are you making?? It smells like an Italian ristorante up in here!” Like I said earlier, had there been more squash to use, I would have added it in, but this was delicious as is. Try not to eat it all at once!