Using it Up [herbed summer squash and potato torte]

My days at the glass of milk kitchen (#2) are numbered.  Before too long I’ll be cooking here:

*Not my photo.  But soon it will be!
We’ll call this glass of milk kitchen (#3).  Before we end up here in a few short days, we’ve got some serious fridge and pantry cleaning to do at kitchen (#2).  So these days, trips to the grocery store involve necessities only (milk and produce) and dinner usually ends up being whatever I defrosted the night before.  What a way to eat, right?

Turns out, you can still end up with some fabulous meals.  Take this one, for example.  Deb’s Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte.  First of all it uses up a whole bunch of scallions.  And I had most of a bunch in tact after another round of this favorite lunch.  Do you know how long scallions stay fresh when you wrap them in a damp paper towel and lock them in a Ziploc bag?  It’s about ten times longer than they would last on their own.  I also had a bunch of potatoes, some squash and zucchini from my favorite farmer’s market.  And thus, I had everything I needed for this dish.  Everything Deb says it is, it is.  It seems simple, but it’s perfectly seasoned.  This time of year, the ingredients are at their best, and I couldn’t stop going back to kitchen (#2) for more little pieces.

The only problem I had is that mine didn’t hold together.  Which may have had something to do with my laissez faire attitude about cooking and recipe-following now that half of everything I own is in boxes anyway.

Do you see my zucchini hiding under there?  That’s not in the original recipe, but I had to work with what was already on hand.  Should you choose to follow Deb’s recipe to a T (and really, who wouldn’t?), you will need:

  • 1 bunch green onions (scallions), thinly sliced
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled (mine were so not peeled, and fine anyway), cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
  • 12 ounces yellow crookneck squash or regular yellow summer squash, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds (and we already know I was one yellow squash short and went with zucchini)
  • 6 teaspoons olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375.  Butter two, 8-inch round cake pans.  Mix the first six ingredients (except for a reserved 1/4 C chopped scallions) in a small bowl and set aside.  In the cake pans, place the potatoes in a single layer on the bottom of the pan.  You want the potatoes to overlap slightly so that your dish sticks together when you want to serve it.  Then, get to work on a layer of squash.  Drizzle what you have so far with a teaspoon of olive oil.  Sprinkle about 1/6 of the flour mixture over the two layers.  Repeat in the following order: potatoes, squash, oil, flour, potatoes, oil, flour.  You can press down when you add your last layer of vegetables if they’re starting to creep up on the edges of the pan.  Do the same for the remaining vegetables in the second cake pan.

Cover the pans with foil and bake for 40 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for 25 more minutes.  At this point, your tortes should be brown and the potatoes should be cooked through.

Remove from the oven, and serve hot, or at room temperature.  Sprinkle the tops with the scallions you set aside earlier.  Enjoy your lunch (or your dinner side dish).

2 thoughts on “Using it Up [herbed summer squash and potato torte]

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