Summer Squash Gratin

Summer Squash Gratin Recipe


Someone was asking me in the comments the other day about my food routines. They were curious about how often I shop, my favorite stores here in SF, when I cook - that sort of thing. I'm also curious about your food routines, so I thought I'd share mine in the hope that you would share a bit about yours as well. I should also work a recipe in here, so I decided to highlight a decadent, crunchy-topped summer squash gratin I made last week. It was inspired by a mountain of summer squash I encountered at the farmers' market - yellow squash, green squash, patty pans, globes, and others I couldn't even identify. The gratin recipe features lots it, thinly sliced, with new potatoes, an oregano pesto, and brown-buttered breadcrumbs all baked at high-temperature until the squash is tender and the top is crunchy. I used a mix of yellow and green squash, but you can certainly experiment with whatever you have on hand, or whatever your garden might be producing.

Summer Squash Gratin Recipe

So, the cornerstone of my food routine is a weekly trip to one of the nearby farmers' markets. I stock up on whatever looks good, and typically that means lots of vegetables, a dozen+ farm-fresh eggs, some tofu, seasonal fruit, almond butter, bread, etc. If I end up running low on anything between markets I walk over to Bi-Rite Market and pick it up there. They source ingredients from many of the local farms around here, and even grow some of their own crops now.

Once or twice a month I like to go to Rainbow Grocery or Whole Foods and stock up on pantry staples. I hit the bin section for interesting whole grains, flours, beans, lentils, and that sort of thing. Beyond that, if I'm at the Ferry Building I love to stop in to see what is available at Boulette's Larder - beautiful, rare, artisanal sugars, spice blends, grains, oils, and vinegars. I always come across something special and inspiring there.

As far as beverages go - I love to visit Keri at Biondivino. She carries lots of the small Italian wine producers I like. Or I'll pick up a few bottles after chatting with Josh over at Bi-Rite - I walk there, so that keeps my purchasing in check. Wine can get heavy ;) Wayne is in charge of most beer runs, and lucky for us, one of the best destinations for artisan beers is a short five minute walk - Healthy Spirits. Wayne is also the barista and tea brewer around here - we buy a lot of Blue Bottle beans, and order tea from Sebastian at In Pursuit of Tea.

So, generally speaking, I'm mindful of what I buy, I shop close to home, and (stating the obvious) I cook quite a bit. A few people have asked how much I spend on food. I think I cook on the cheap - kinda. I'd never try to represent myself as a bargain shopper, but because I don't spend money on meat, fish, or poultry, it is easier for me to spend money on great olive oil, eggs, or perfect cherries - and still come out ahead financially. I happily pay $6 - $8/ per dozen eggs, and good cheese is another higher-ticket item for me, but I typically use it as some sort of accent. Most of the organic grains and flours I buy cost between $1 - $2 per pound. Stunning, heirloom beans come in at about $5 per pound. And as anyone who has done it knows - cook a pound of dried beans and you have a whole lot of food on your hands. The organic summer squash I used in this recipe today cost $2 per pound.

I'm sure I'm forgetting things, but if that's the case I'll add as I remember (forgive me!)

Onto the gratin - all you squash growers have got to give this one a go this summer - it is as decadent as I get, plenty of olive oil and butter here, but sooo worth it.

 
 
 
 

Summer Squash Gratin Recipe

Be sure to slice your potatoes as thin as possible. They get all melty and creamy. Slice them too thick and you'll have trouble cooking them through because the zucchini cooks up more quickly. I use a box grater to shred the cheese here (as opposed to a micro-plane) - you get heartier, less whispy pieces of cheese which is what you want here. I'd also strongly recommend homemade bread crumbs here (see asterisk below).

zest of one lemon
1 1/2 pounds summer squash or zucchini, cut into 1/6th-inch slices
1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt

1/4 cup fresh oregano leaves
1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley
1 large garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs*
1/2 pound waxy potatoes, sliced transparently thin

3/4 cup grated Gruyere cheese, grated on a box grater (or feta might be good!)

Preheat oven to 400F degrees and place a rack in the middle. Rub a 9x9 gratin pan (or equivalent baking dish) with a bit of olive oil, sprinkle with lemon zest, and set aside.

Place the zucchini slices into a colander placed over a sink, toss with the sea salt and set aside for 10-15 minutes (to drain a bit) and go on to prepare the oregano sauce and bread crumbs.

Make the sauce by pureeing the oregano, parsley, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, red pepper flakes, and olive oil in a food processor or using a hand blender. Set aside.

Make the breadcrumbs by melting the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook for a few minutes until the butter is wonderfully fragrant, and has turned brown. Wait two minutes, then stir the breadcrumbs into the browned butter.

Transfer the squash to a large mixing bowl. Add the potatoes and two-thirds of the oregano sauce. Toss until everything is well coated. Add the cheese and half of the bread crumbs and toss again. Taste one of the zucchini pieces and add more seasoning (salt or red pepper) if needed.

Transfer the squash to the lemon-zested pan, top with the remaining crumbs, and bake for somewhere between 40 and 50 minutes - it will really depend on how thinly you sliced the squash and potatoes - and how much moisture was still in them. You don't want the zucchini to go to mush, but you need to be sure the potatoes are fully baked. If the breadcrumbs start to get a little dark, take a fork and rake them just a bit, that will uncover some of the blonder bits. Remove from oven, and drizzle with the remaining oregano sauce.

Serves about 8 as a side.

*To make breadcrumbs cut the crust off 2-3 day old artisan bread. Tear into pieces the size of your thumb, and give a quick whirl in the food processor. I don't like my breadcrumbs too fine - and tend to leave the pieces on the large size - more like little pebbles than grains of sand.

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Your Comments


Tizmarelda
June 11, 2009

Yum!! I've got some gouda and broccoli/cilantro pesto that I made up the other day in the fridge. That'll work.

That's a great list of stores for SF, but any New Yorkers out there know where to get good bulk stuff on the cheap? Our Whole Foods don't carry that stuff, and even the Co-ops I shop at don't have the greatest selection of flours, beans or rice.

 

Kasey
June 11, 2009

Heidi- thanks for sharing! I make a weekly trip to my neighborhood market for most of my fruits, veggies, yogurt/milk needs. I pick up bread at Arizmendi Bakery (I love to stop by on a Sunday morning before breakfast). For meats, I usually pick up something friend from either Andronico's, or Golden Natural Foods in the Castro. I also love the Cheese shop in the Inner Sunset for cheeses and deli meats. Depending on what I have going on on the weekends, I always try to supplement my produce supply by hitting up my local farmers' markets. I am so excited that a new one just launched right in my neighborhood (at 9th and Irving).

 

annie
June 11, 2009

Holy sh*t. That sounds like the most incredible dish ever.

 

The Duo Dishes
June 11, 2009

Very similar to a little something called squash casserole that mom used to make. Never failed to please.

 

Looks like a wonderful recipe!

Over here in Seattle, I tend to do small shopping trips twice a week to the local food co-op (PCC) which, luckily for me, is just a couple blocks from where I live. They put a lot of effort into stocking only local & environmentally friendly foods. Then twice a month I'll head over to Trader Joe's and stock up (it's quite a bit cheaper) as well as stopping in at the U-District farmer's market.

 

Michele Morris
June 11, 2009

As a cooking teacher I get asked things like this as well - but most often people ask me what my favorite food to cook is, to which I can never respond. I love so many things - and love to cook - and that drives my shopping. I'm one of those people who could shop for food every single day and be happy!

 

kristina
June 11, 2009

omg... YES! I have possibly the world's most productive sunburst squash and zucchini plants right now. As is could not carry the basket in from the garden with one arm. Too heavy. So needless to say, I'm in desperate need of squash ideas.

And I also have a crazy amount of oregano threatening to flower. Making this tonight.

ooh, and... I find Boulette's Larder to be reason enough for a weekend trip to San Francisco. I would like to live under their communal table and just collect the scraps.

 

Yum, I love summer squash. Usually I grill it, but this looks like something I'd really like to utilize it in a different way!

 

Sam
June 11, 2009

I am also a big fan of the bulk bins at Rainbow. Lately, I have been making big salads with a grain (barley, bulgur, farro...) and a bean (any of Rainbow's heirlooms) along with vegetables from my CSA box and some seeds or nuts. The dressing can be lemony or miso-based or anything else. A little feta can make the whole thing creamy. I can eat this for lunch all week.

 

Betsy
June 11, 2009

Oh, such squash heaven. To have had this recipe for the mountain of zuchini I have eaten from my mother's garden...

 

Dana McCauley
June 11, 2009

Yum- looks great! I did something similar last night but I sauteed the veggies first in a skillet and then just finished in the oven with a havarti cheese cube studded crumb topping. It was so fast!

 

thefoff
June 11, 2009

That looks incredible! I will definitely be trying it soon.

The big challenge for me living in a suburb of Los Angeles is that NOTHING is close by. lol. The farmer's market is as close as actually going to the farm, there is no whole foods, and the few places that carry organic, locally grown produce aren't exactly what I would call "sanitary". It is certainly a challenge.

So, I settle by trying to find what I can where I can, which sometimes means settling for organic produce from the local "big grocery chain". But if you know of a place out here in Ventura County that's worth the drive, let me know!

 

Kasie Bennett
June 11, 2009

I live all the way across the country in Atlanta, but here are my favorite places to shop:
The Dekalb Farmer's Market -- it's a gigantic international farmer's market that's open seven days a week . I have an amazing experience every time I go (which is at least once a week).
Morningside Farmers Market -- open only on Saturdays
Belly General Store -- an adorable specialty shop in my neighborhood
Teuscher -- for fancy chocolates
Alon's Bakery -- when I don't bake my own bread I go here for the best you can buy in the city
Also, I definitely plan on making the squash casserole. It looks delicious!

 

Lauren
June 11, 2009

Tizmarelda - If you're in Manhattan, either go to Fairway uptown on 12th Avenue just north of 125th street or to Kalustyan's on Lex & 28th. Fairway recently put in a decent bulk bin section with lentils, split peas, bulgur, quinoa, some flours, lots of granola. They also have a bigger selection of these items in store-packaged deli containers. I went to Kalustyan's for the first time 2 weeks ago and bought a 4 pound bag of beluga lentils for $16 because I can't keep my hands off of them. They have just about everything, but can be a little pricey for just 1-2 person quantities.

As for my schedule, my boyfriend and I make a list of 5 or so dinners we want to cook, write down the ingredients (broken up by section of store since NYC shopping is hectic and needs strategizing) and go to Fairway about every 10 days for pretty much all of our needs. I stop by the satellite farmer's market near my office and pick up more delicate produce twice a month. However, our CSA is going to start up next week, so I'm sure the routine is going to get a little shake up.

 

Lauren
June 11, 2009

Oh! and for those of you who worry about the regimenting of my grocery shopping, we always leave room to buy whatever produce strikes our fancy at the store. We just wanted to avoid the whole "buy everything that looks good and then end up letting lots of it go bad" trap. Since we take the subway and our own canvas bags, we have very tangible limits on how much we buy at once.

Separately, I will definitely make this dish soon! I love a good crunchy topping.

 

Lauren
June 11, 2009

Sorry, I always remember things right after I click post. My friends in Brooklyn rave about the Park Slope Co-op's bulk bins, saying, "it's almost worth moving to Brooklyn for this alone." It's really cheap and has an incredible selection. Their other products are excellent as well.

 

foodcreate
June 11, 2009

I live in where we have Harrys Market they have basically everything that I 'm look for . I been to market when traveling. There One call Lincoln park Market In Chicago, The other One that is fresh and very clean is call Evanston Market.
I buy in bulks and that makes a more indulging trip!

Beautiful what a inventive way to make this dish! I will be cooking this dish this weekend~~~foodcreate

Thanks for sharing this wonderful dish~~~

 

bronwyn
June 11, 2009

I love squash. This looks really good and summery. I tend to do most of my shopping on my lunch hour. I work in SF in the financial district. On Tuesdays, I go to the ferry building farmers market then pop inside and pick up some grains at either village market or farm fresh to you. I also like to stop by cowgirl creamery for cheese. Thursdays I usually go to the farmers market at the crocker galleria. It tickles me to walk amongst the suits carrying a tote with carrot tops and leaffy greens poking out. I get a few looks in the elevator. :)

I will be adding the 9th and irving market to my Sundays. This will be fun to do with my 3 year old and will be a good excuse to get scones at Arizmendi. I have a lovely village market in my neighborhood that i can swing by on my way home. I also have several produce markets in my neighborhood that are hit or miss but will do in a pinch.

Then once or twice a month I stock up on cheap pantry items at trader joes. I can never get my husband to take me to Rainbow and I don't drive.

 

bronwyn
June 11, 2009

ps- lucky you for living so close to bi-rite!

 

Celia
June 11, 2009

Our Whole Foods also does not carry heirloom beans - but it's fun to order some from Seed Savers Exchange and grow them myself. From April through October, I go out into the garden to see what's for dinner. Could be a couple bunches of chard, or zucchini to grill, or heirloom tomatoes to slice onto bruschetta. I also have 5 chickens who keep me in eggs, so many in fact that I have been bartering them for things like homemade bread and organic asparagus. Then all I need is the beans and grains from Whole Foods or Vitamin Cottage, so I usually never have to stop by a store on a weeknight unless I need something specific for a recipe. I love splurging on condiments that make sandwiches and salads special - balsamic grilled onions, marinated goat cheese, fancy mustards, or the many fun preserved treats at Trader Joe's (the nearest is in Santa Fe but my mom lives there, so I go every quarter or so and fill up 4 bags with loot!). As another commenter said, I could buy food every day and be happy...

 

Charlotte
June 11, 2009

oh yum! i am so doing this tomorrow night!
question- can a substitute for Gruyere cheese be suggested? i'm just not sure i can find a kosher one (or a rennet free brand) without going to brooklyn or something.

 

Russian recipes Mark
June 11, 2009

About your daily routine, it was interesting to read about. I am an American living in Krakow, Poland. Like you I used to stock up and shop at the market once or twice a week. Believe it or not I go almost everyday now. In Europe the storage, i.e. the fridges are smaller and the markets are closer. They get fresh local grown vegetables from the farmers everyday, as still about 25% of the people here are involved in agriculture. For me this was a big contrast to Boston (the SF of the East) where I use to live.

 

Ashley
June 11, 2009

The first of my squash blossoms appeared today--I hope they make beautiful zuccini's that I can use in this gratin!

My food routine:
My Eat Well CSA share keeps me on track, so I can plan meals and don't leave the farmers market loaded down with too much stuff to carry home.

Tuesday Ferry Plaza market at lunch is a great break from work. It's fun to watch a market unfold through all the seasons. The new Inner Sunset Market will be a new Sunday morning ritual for extra fruit, grains, honey and eggs.

Real Foods on Stanyan is a good stop for other local produce and grains to fill in the blanks.

I try to do up a meal plan each week stocked with quick meal options, new recipes to keep the cooking exciting, and enough leftovers for lunch.

 

CPS
June 11, 2009

This looks really good, Heidi! I shall try it :) yumm

 

Loren
June 11, 2009

Ooh, I am always overrun with squash, and this sounds great!

Question: Do you think you could just use already made pesto? I always have some that I've stuck away in the freezer (I also get overrun with basil.) If so, how much would you use? Thanks, Loren

Love, love, love your blog!!! (and your book!)

HS: Hi Loren, yes you can use ready-made pesto - I'd just thin it out a bit - with a splash of broth, or hot water, or a bit more oil. Some of those ready-made pestos can be quite thick. You want enough to lightly coat the squash/potatoes.

 

Your summer squash gratin looks delicious! I'm just waiting for the squash to come to my local farmers market. My routine is similar to yours, I do a weekend trip to the farmers market and pick up my eggs and whatever vegetables are fresh, then base my menu plans for the week around that. I try and by my other staples at the independent grocery stores that are around my area, like the Greek place for my feta and olives and an occasional stop at Whole Foods for my sprouted bread and everything else. I feel very fortunate to live in Vancouver BC!

 

mai truong
June 11, 2009

i love the looks of this dish, but unfortunately can't do lactose--if you think it is still worth making a gratin without the cheese (don't worry no French chef is listening!) or some kind of substitute, please let me know! i don't usually like squash because i find it lacking both texture and flavor--but maybe i haven't been cooking it right? more often than not it is mushy and doesn't end up soaking up whatever it is marinating in...however, i do remember how tasty gratins were from the days when i could eat them! so thank you for sharing Heidi, you are the Best!

generally on sundays, i sit down and ask my honey what he would like to eat during the week--some of the suggestions i take (homemade pizza) some I shake my head at (nachos). then i look through my cookbooks and see whether there are recipes that i've had my eye on that would be good to try during the week. I write down all the ingredients and head to Trader Joe's. anything we can't find there we then proceed to get at the whole foods across the street. i find the farmer's markets around us to be very expensive and so don't invest there. I do buy organic at TJ's and trust where they claim their ingredients to be from. We think TJ's is a great blend of tastiness and value. Oh and about once a month we go to the Milk Pail, which has the tastiest croissants on this planet outside of France! If you ever find yourself in the Los Altos/Palo Alto area of CA, you simply must get these delicious frozen treats that puff up and become glorious pastries in your oven the next day!

HS: Try leaving out the cheese Mai - I suspect it will still be quite good.

 

veggievixen
June 11, 2009

this looks so good! squash were always kind of wintery in my mind, but they are totally a spring vegetable! yum.

my food routine...hmmm. i love exploring new places and finding new ingredients. so i guess i don't really have a routine, except to shop at the same grocery stores. i usually buy way too much food, especially if i'm into trying new vegan substitutes, which can really add up.

thanks for sharing! all the cool stuff is on the west coast :(

 

Sufia
June 11, 2009

Wow! My backyard is currently overrun with the cutest little yellow summer squash and this sounds like the perfect way to use some! Thanks for the recipe!

 

alison
June 12, 2009

it looks so fine!i will try this recipe!thanks!

 

Gourmet Chick
June 12, 2009

I love the colours of the squash in this recipe it sounds delicious. The way you describe your food shopping is my ideal way to shop as well and sometimes I manage it but at the same time all too often I have to end up running into a supermarket or corner store at the last minute to get various provisions having not been organised enough to get to the farmers market!

 

sangeeta khanna
June 12, 2009

those yellow squash look so fresh .....and that is how the dish becomes full of flavors...i think it can be tried with other guard family veggies available in this part of the world......
i do weekly shopping for my veggies n fruits and come back loaded with freshest ingredients.....i grow some organic herbs n veggies in my garden too...

 

Anne-Renée
June 12, 2009

Hi!
This looks absolutly delicious!
I live in Norway - and I have a question about the potatoes you use - are they floury or firm? (my instinct would say floury - but I thought I'd better check it out :-D)

Hi Anne-Renee - the were small firm potatoes, thanks for asking.

 

Barbara
June 12, 2009

This reminds me of something I used to make for my kids- didn't put potatoes in it though and I seem to recall I used some kind of packaged flavaored stuffing for the bread crumbs. This recipe is way better!

 

Kari (Eating Simply)
June 12, 2009

Looks beautiful.

 

Miss B.
June 12, 2009

The squash look absolutely delicious! I'm always interested in new ways to cook an abundance of summer squash.

I was also very interested to hear about your shopping and cooking routine. (I'm a regular reader of your blog, but this is my first comment!) I do have one question, though: whenever I shop at the farmer's market (there's a weekly one here), I end up with lots of good-looking fruit and vegetables, but I always seem either (a) to run out before the end of the week, necessitating a trip to the local supermarket, or (b) to have gotten too much and end up wasting food (something I really dislike). Part of this is that I am used to cooking by planned recipes and I would normally plan the week's meals in advance and only buy enough for each meal; however, if I am trying to buy only what is fresh and available on any given week, I cannot do that. Do you have any tips on how to know how much to buy?

 

Another great one! To make this gluten-free (and grain free) I would give it a go with ground almond and/or pecans in place of the bread crumbs. Very easy switch.

Looks deicious!

 

Jeannie
June 12, 2009

This recipe is going on the must make list but in Chicago we get squash galore in the fall, we are still at the end of asparagus and start of peppers, lettuces and all the vegetables, u in San Fran, have most of the year. But this recipe not only sounds easy to do but really yummy and comforting!!!!!!!

 

Jenn
June 12, 2009

Oh YUM!

 

Gordon Hamilton
June 12, 2009

Wow! This sounds absolutely delicious. believe it or not, I have never tried squash. I see it in the supermarket all the time and simply bypass it. I think the problem is that I have never known how to cook it or what to prepare it with. Now I do - on both counts!

I am going to give this delicious sounding recipe a try. Thanks for sharing it.

 

Acher
June 12, 2009

I live on the northwest side of Chicago, and luckily have access to several small local grocery store chains, as well as TONS of ethnic delis, bakeries, and corner store type markets. Most of the delis and bakeries are Italian and Polish, but we're also close to a great Korean grocery store, a great spice store, and a wonderful old world German butcher. This is great since we love to try new things and particularly love Polish and Korean food! We try to stick to fresh produce, rice/pasta, and meat, and stay as far away from processed stuff as possible. We've just joined our first CSA (www.homegrownwisconsin.com) this year, and our first pick up is next week! Can't wait!

 

Heather
June 12, 2009

Wow, picking up the first CSA box of the year today and praying for squash now!

Thanks for this space; you are one of the people who keeps me fresh in the kitchen. Working all day and being the sole food preparer (my man has many talents but cooking is not one of them) can leave me feeling flat. I often come here looking for a recipe and leave inspired to create a meaningful meal.

My sister (a Heidi) says one of the best things about the internet is that there is an unending supply of lentil and chickpea recipes and you are proof of that!

Have a great weekend.

 

phoo-d
June 12, 2009

Thank you for sharing this recipe! We have 4 yellow squash plants growing in the garden and I will really need this recipe when they start to produce.

 

Cookin' Canuck
June 12, 2009

What a beautiful gratin! I can't wait until my zucchini and other squash are ripe.

Every summer, I await the opening of my favorite farm stand. It belongs to a local farmer who grows everything organically. If she's not at the stand, she leaves a coffee can of money so that people can add up their own purchases and make change. She has the most beautiful eggplants! We stock up on quite a few of our staples at Costco (thank goodness for a big freezer). I have been quite impressed that they are expanding their selection of organic items.

 

Betsy
June 12, 2009

This looks great. I make a vaguely similar dish, though more of a casserole, with summer squash, quinoa, eggs, sour cream, cheddar, and a few other ingredients that I'm forgetting now. It is a much-tweaked version of an old cooking light recipe. But i think i make have to break routine to give this a try!

food routines: During the farmer's market season (may - nov here), i go to our local market once a week (Saturdays). It doesn't have nearly the selection that yours does, though... no beans/tofu/almond butter! BUt I get produce and eggs, a loaf of bread, occasionally bacon or another kind of meat.

Then on Monday I usually go to Whole Foods for dairy, back-up produce (lemons, avocados, ingredients that i cannot give up but cannot source locally), and beans/grains/other pantry staples.

I am not vegetarian, but tend to cook mostly meatless, and agree that at times vegetarian meals can save $. Though throw in one expensive cheese and the grocery bill can shoot through the roof!

 

Anne
June 12, 2009

I am new to SF and hit many of the same spots you do -- Rainbow for bulk, Brian's for meat/ fish, the farmer's markets or Asian markets on Clement for veggies and kumquats and other wacky "stuff." But I still have to go to Trader Joe's at least 1-2 times/ month. The cost of food and living is so much higher here it only makes sense. Thanks for the confirmation I am hitting the right spots!

 

Seaweed Snacks
June 12, 2009

It was fun to read your hangouts in SF. I am there once a month or so, and next time I am going to pay a visit to Boulette's Larder for some hard to find items not available in my small town. Thank you for all your inspiring information and tasty dishes.

 

Henna
June 12, 2009

I have to say that I'm surprised you don't belong to a CSA, Heidi. The variety, never know what will come week to week, I would think appealing to you. Have you had a membership in the past and not liked it?

HS: I love CSAs and I love programs like the Mariquita Mystery Box, but I also like to browse the markets and cherry-pick exactly what I want to cook. I inherit the occasional CSA box when friends go out of town, and love trying to figure out what to make from the contents.

 

Harmony
June 12, 2009

Heidi, all your recipes look so good - I found your site a few weeks ago and have made the sushi bowls a few times and the otsu.
I think I'll make this one tonight, it looks so yummy and comforting for a relaxing evening to end the work week.

My routine involves stopping at Golden Produce on my way home. They have an amazing selection of fresh organic produce and dry/bulk goods at really reasonable prices. I actually prefer them to Bi-rite (unless we're talking Bi-rite Creamery!) I usually stop by every 2-3 days, that way I don't have to plan too far ahead, and I also don't have to worry about my veggies going bad if I end up changing my mind about what to make!

 

Nutmeg Nanny
June 12, 2009

Yummy squash gratin!

I usually shop at a local grocery store called "Adams Fair Acre" farm and they carry a lot of local, gourmet and fresh foods. There is also a nice organic market that I like to shop at. They have tons of wonderful fresh spices that you can buy in bulk.

 

anna
June 12, 2009

Perfect, I didn't know what to do with my squashes (I get so bored with the normal veg mix)... this is great.

I've got parmesan and goat cheese in the fridge... would either work or mix well? hmm..

 

Rachelteehee
June 12, 2009

Thanks so, so, so, so much for this post. I find I'm at a loss sometimes at the store or farmers market - I want to take everything home, but sometimes the food will go to waste, and there are all kind of recipes that I want to try...I guess I need to find my "culinary focus." :)

Thanks again!!

 

Suzi
June 12, 2009

That recipes looks wonderful! Here's a great way to cook zucchini when you get inundated with a bumper crop--cut into 1/4-1/2 inch thick rounds, and pan-roast with whole garlic cloves in olive oil in a chef's pan or a saute pan (enough oil to lightly coat the whole pan). The trick is to turn the rounds only once and get a nice brownish crust on each side. Toss in your favorite (cooked and drained) pasta into the pan when the zucchini is done and garnish with grated parmesian, salt and pepper to taste.

As for routines, I'm into my second year gardening and my third year in a CSA. That coupled with my local weekly Farmer's Market pretty much shapes my grocery shopping, which is mostly for staples or if I'm making a particular recipe for a special event.

It almost turns cooking into a Food Network style challenge, as I tailor my cooking to whatever I get in my CSA box or what needs to be picked in the garden or what looks good at the Farmer's Market that I don't already have. I know that would drive some people nuts, but it's something I really enjoy and allows me to really get creative and experiment with my food.

 

That looks amazingly delicious! I always have to much summer squash and never know what to do with it - now I do :)

 

Amanda
June 12, 2009

We get a CSA box from South Central Farmers so that dictates our dinners for the week. We try use up as many greens, squash, parsley, etc, as possible.

For other produce I go to a local produce market up the street. There isn't much of an organic choice, but its cheap, and family run.

I am part of a co-op at my work. We buy raw milk, farm fresh eggs, bison meat, and honey together - and get great prices!

For staples I go to Trader Joes because its cheap, and they have a lot of products that I like, but I don't like their produce!

For special items I visit Wholefoods. I always stock up on items in the bulk bins. But what I buy from there is limited because of the prices!

Recently I've become a part of a group that buys wholesale from Frontier and I love it! It takes some planning but its worth it.

I haven't actually written this down before and now that I have it looks tedious! But its not that bad! It takes a lot of planning for me to do things right and economically. But I think its worth it!

 

Myrtle Luma
June 12, 2009

I have a big bag of summer squash and was wondering what to do with it. Thanks for the fabulous idea. This is perfect.
M.

 

alison Lewis
June 12, 2009

I have to prepare squash at a farmers market next weekend here in Alabama and this is an awesome idea. Thanks so much, Alison

 

MaryJane
June 12, 2009

I love your recipes and reading your posts. Some of your recipes, notably those containing ingredients like tofu, I wouldn't use but I love the vegetable ones, as side dishes. This squash recipe sounds great, but as you put it, decadent. I generally bake squash very simply with just some seasonings and a bit of olive oil, to use instead of pasta with Italian sauce/meatballs. This squash recipe will be great for a group though. Thanks for your postings.

 

Genevieve
June 12, 2009

Well, I live in Canada where we have winter 6 months of the year, so I just got my squash plants into the ground a couple weeks ago! However, I can buy it in the grocery stores and do have some in the fridge right now. Favourite place to shop would be the Byward market in downtown Ottawa where local farmers from both Ontario and Quebec bring their wares, the Fish market close to where I live, a Bulk barn Store, and an Italian deli/market also nearby where I can buy wonderful oils and vinegars, cheeses, homemade Italian sausage, etc.

Thanks for your ideas which are always inspiring. You're a really neat person!

 

justcooknyc
June 12, 2009

this is a killer meat-free recipe. it looks amazing.

 

kari
June 12, 2009

this is exactly like the recipe in sunday suppers at lucques with the addition of potatoes. That's a great cookbook isn't it heidi.

HS: I'll have to check out Suzanne's version. And thanks for the reminder, I really should highlight her book here at some point. Let me know if you have a favorite recipe from it!

 

Jennifer Galatioto
June 12, 2009

So you are a vegetarian? But eat eggs and milk?
I try to eat local, too but thought about coffee and tea ... not local at all!

 

Kim
June 12, 2009

This sounds delicious, and possibly a kid-friendly dish to boot!

Heidi, if you're ever across the Bay Bridge...like even through the Caldecott (what are the chances? haha)... you should check out Harvest House. I feel so lucky to live near it. They carry local dairy (Strauss, Petaluma Creamery, Spring Hill), and their bin selections are amazing - anything you can think of, right on down to loose spices and herbs and teas. It is the MOST fun shopping trip, and I find something new to try every time I'm there. Their aisles are stocked with tons of organic, earth-friendly, local items, and on top of that, half the store is stocked with vitamins/nutritional supplements/personal care products! Local shampoo - amazing! It's the best.

With that and one of our many, many local farmers' markets, not to mention a quick trip to Brentwood for straight-from-the-farm produce, a girl can feel good about shopping! Oh, and at many of our East Bay farmers' markets, you can find Shelly selling her farm-fresh eggs for $5/dozen. It's a steal!!

Thanks for the great recipes!

 

kinakojam
June 12, 2009

Yum, looks good. This kind of gratin is very good with blue cheese (a little goes a long way).
I'm living in Germany, and here there is a supermarket on every other corner (all selling fantastic beers with no artificial additives). So we walk past the market on the way home each day and purchase food based on our whim (something we've been wanting to try from a cookbook) or what looks good& fresh.
The organic Biomarkt doesn't have bulk bins, so we often buy dried beans/pulses from asian import stores: there's a thrifty indian brand. Wing beans, chinese chives, tamarind, vegetarian potstickers etc we also pick up from the asian import store about once every three weeks (it's ten minutes walk from work).
Düsseldorf has a big Japanese population so we go there for daikon, kombu stock powder, abura-age tofu pouches, good kimchi etc, about once every 2 months. We get smoked paprika, dulce de leche and chorizo from the spanish grocery store in Cologne every so often, and there is an Italian supermarket in town for stocking up on good pasta.
For more fancy stuff like special olive oils (or really nice Spanish cheese like Torta di Cabra), we'd normally only buy them on holiday & bring home as souvenirs.

But for the occasional indulgence,the Manufactum handmade goods emporium is nice to dally in: they have a good cheese counter with a goats cheese pressed with lavender that I love, handmade butter, curiosities like spiced biscuits or shortbread made by cloistered nuns, pasteurised malt extract in a can, plus delicious crusty bread, and the only coffee in town worth drinking.

we have a friend who is a wine merchant and recommends bargains, so we never pay more than seven euros for a bottle.

 

maxie
June 12, 2009

Interesting to read everyone's shopping habits as I hate shopping and do as little as possible. I'm in the Los Angeles foothills area. On Saturday mornings I pick up my CSA box and then hit one of the farmer's markets if there's something else I need. Our CSA also offers free-range, organic chicken, beef, pork, eggs, beans, rice, nuts, dairy, and other items that I take advantage of.

Other than that, I shop about once a month for staples at Trader Joe and about every three monthsor so at Costco for all the stuff that comes in ridiculously big packages, but is ridiculously low-priced (I don't buy food there except for tomato paste).

Also stop at a great health food market/restaurant in Burbank for beans, grains or other staples (usually time it so I can have lunch there).

 

Sharon
June 12, 2009

I like the squash recipe, and I'm going to try and make it vegan by using a great new recipe I've encountered for basil (or tarragon or cilantro) oil. I'll leave out the cheese but experiment with some other things.

Portland Oregon is a fantastic town for foodies, and from April-end of November I shop at a Saturday PSU Famers Market a 5 min. drive from my house, then head over to New Seasons, the best store I've ever found for all things organic, including bulk pasta, beans, rice etc., to pick up whatever was not available at the market. If I run out of produce mid-week there are two or three other Farmers Markets open Wednesday or Thursday within the city. We have a bounty of excellent bakeries, so if I need fresh bread I usually go to Pearl or Grand Central Bakery.
During the months the Farmers Markets are not open most of my food shopping centers around New Seasons.

 

Erin
June 12, 2009

I live in Greensboro, NC. In spite of it being a small city, it has a surprising array of choices. We have no Whole Foods, no Trader Joe's, but we have a co-op, a small chain store called Earth Fare, and a downtown curb market on the weekends, as well as a big old farmer's market out by the airport. We also have several Asian, Middle Eastern, and Latin markets.

Every Saturday morning I hit the curb market for produce, eggs, milk, and, for a treat, locally raised organic pork products. (Go Cane Creek Farm!) I also get organic free range ostrich raised in Winston-Salem from the "big" FM. I get my bulk bin stuff from Earth Fare, as well as some "survival food" like KIND bars and Rachael's yogurts. I also get my bread from there, which is from Ninth St Bakery in Durham, NC.

For ethnic foods, I shop at Dynasty Market, the Super G Mart, and Indu. Their products are all imported from Asia and Latin America, but at least they are locally owned and operated. (I don't know of a local producer of Amchoor, for example.)

For anything else, we hit the chain supermarket. I am happy to report that we are spending less and less there. Unfortunately, we have to drive to all of these places, so we consolidate trips, build store-specific lists up, etc., to cut down on pointless car trips.

 

Katrina
June 12, 2009

That looks delicious!

 

MG
June 12, 2009

Wine-wise, have you ever tried Vino in Pacific Heights (right next door to Mollie Stones)? The staff is amazing and always directs me to a great bottle in my price range (which can vary a lot, depending on the occasion). I'll have to try out Biondivino though.

HS: Great tip - I'll have to check it out.

 

Lucy Banta
June 12, 2009

This looks amazing. I love the taste of zucchini and summer squashes mixed together, and then add potatoes and cheese! Wow.

 

DK
June 12, 2009

My shopping oscillates between 3 main places - Safeway, WholeFoods and Farmer's Market.

We are vegetarians and stocking up on vegetables is the only thing for me - we dont drink either :)

Love this squash recipe - I havent gone all out when it comes to squash - should start making more

 

Alta
June 12, 2009

YUM! I love squash, and I keep buying as much as I can handle when I'm at the farmers markets. I am also growing patty-pans in the garden, but unfortunately only get about 2 little squashes a week off of the plant. (mental note, plant more next time!)
My routines (wish that I could say I walked to mine! All too far away. I live kind of in the country):
I try to get to the nearest farmers market twice a month when it's open. (which is a good 15 miles away) I supplement with a visit to Sprouts, which is a "farmers market" like grocery with a lot of natural foods, my yogurt and cheese, naturally raised meats, and bins of great grains, nuts, and dried fruits. Once in a while I might make it to Whole Foods or Central Market (a local high-end "Whole Foods" like grocery) for some fancy pantry items. Visit a nearby farm to pick up fresh eggs once a week on my drive home from work. Also, lately have been growing some veggies and herbs, so that helps!

 

Sprouted Kitchen
June 12, 2009

Perfect timing for a squash recipe! I have so many from the market and needed some new ideas. Looks so pretty and colorful, perfect for having ppl over. Thanks ~

 

Sarah
June 12, 2009

I have a huge zucchini plant that hasn't produced anything yet! It's driving me crazy. But I'm up to my neck in grape and plum tomatoes, so I can't complain too much.

Thanks for the squash recipe. It's one of my favorite summer veggies. My mother always used to pan fry /saute slices of summer squash covered in a thin layer of cornmeal, flour, salt & pepper until they were golden brown. It was delicious.

 

Sally bee buzzing
June 12, 2009

Love your recipes This is my first time commenting. The summer squash gratin is exciting my taste buds. Looking forward to trying it. Might just become a veggie gal


 

Stephanie
June 12, 2009

Mmmm..... We're not in squash yet in Massachusetts, though. My 4 little plants have buds on them. (I bought the 8-ball type.) Your oregano pesto, by the way, I consider heavenly. When we make the giant bean & kale dish on your site, we use the leftovers in/on EVERYTHING for days. I'm hoping my tiny struggling sprig of oregano takes so I can make a lot this summer. How do you think Lemon Balm would work?

My goal, particularly in the summer, is to keep my husband out of the supermarket as much as possible! He's the one with more time, but he also is the one who buys chips.

To that end, it's CSA (I've got a beautiful, huge box of green stuff to contend with this week!), gardening, and a wonderful produce place called Russo's for fruit and not-quite-seasonal salad accoutrements. We keep a vegetarian house, so no meat, but usually pick one expensive cheese at each trip to Russo's.

We're going to start getting milk delivered; it's more than Trader Joe's or supermarket milk, but less than buying local milk at specialty places, and it's incredibly tasty.

Trader Joe's is about every 3 weeks for butter, eggs (which I may start getting from the farmer's market), spelt bread, brown rice pasta, and frozen artichoke hearts & veggie nuggets.

Supermarket I try to keep to once a month or less with the CSA, mostly just when the hours are better than elsewhere.

 

Russell
June 12, 2009

Wow ... reading about all these farmer's markets and places and hearing about all the good produce makes me want to go vegan, and I'm a "meat and potatoes" man!

When I lived in OK, you could always find a roadside produce market. There were also great farmers' markets in the area. Now that I am in NC, they don't seem as prevalent, but I keep hearing about some of the ones that are around the area.

As for this recipe, I definitely would love to try this one. Squash is easily one of my fave veggies, and this one sounds like it has some great flavors.

I am wondering what some of you apartment dwellers do when wanting to grow your own stuff. What do you grow? How much of it? Do you grow outside (e.g., window boxes) or inside?

 

kinakojam
June 12, 2009

Hi Russell, I'm an apartment dweller and am growing some edibles on the windowsill (indoors) for the first time this year. Black cavalo nero is growing well, almost ready to eat, and the Japanese Shiso herb is nearly 2 feet high! Planted quite a few chile seeds but only two have grown up: a guajillo and a chimayo. Using organic earth indoors seems to breed fungus gnats (harmless small black flies) so we have just ordered some mites (more insects!) to eat them, and sticky yellow flags to catch them.

 

ann
June 12, 2009

Recipe sounds great! Similar to something my mom has always done but without the potatoes. My summer squash is just starting to appear on the vines but shouldn't be long now.
My shopping: June through September CSA box from Homestead growers, eggs included. Saturday trip to the Broad Ripple Farmers market for fruits & veggies not in CSA box. Cheese from an Amish family (my family absolutely loves the cheese!). Local meat market, The Goose. Organic Milk delivered on Thursday. Whole foods couple times a month for grains, flour etc. My garden but only have kale and lettuce at the moment. Make my own bread. I think that is it.
By the way love your recipes and ideas!
Ann in Indiana

 

Eril Barnard
June 12, 2009

Thank you for everything you offer.

 

Pam
June 12, 2009

I second Mark in Krakow's comment about how having much less storage space results in daily shopping. When we lived in Europe I had to adjust to a much smaller refrigerator - a real challenge the year I prepared Thanksgiving for 18 people. Otoh, we went to the market almost daily and knew the vendors well, and they knew us.
Once one of my French nephews came to visit and stay with us in the US. He was really struck by the some of the "supersize" containers we had: 32 oz yogurt, 16 oz ketchup. He thought it was "so American." To me it was 'so economic!" Why have 4 8 oz containers of yogurt when one large one will do? Less waste, too.
I don't have squash but I do have oregano and parsley growing my garden so look forward to making this.

 

MegMeg
June 12, 2009

Perfect! I work on an organic farm in Alabama and we're just getting the ball rolling on our squash and zucchini... I'm going to be up to my eyeballs in the stuff all summer!
This looks absolutely delicious. Thank you for running such a great blog. :)))

 

lisa (dandysugar)
June 12, 2009

I loved Bi-Rite and Rainbow when I lived in SF...I made regular trips to both and also walked to Bi-Rite to grab things that I would need last minute, etc...or for some good chocolate.

I started to buy coffee bean from agreat place that opened up in SF called Four Barrels. They roast their own beans. Delicious coffee.

Also, a great summer veggie dish!

 

Sam
June 12, 2009

Wow! 6-8$ per dozen eggs! Here in Washington County ME you can find many road-side signs with 3-4$ per dozen eggs. Not organic, but definitely local and I'm pretty sure they aren't hiding a factory farm in their backyard :)

 

Chris
June 12, 2009

Mmmm...that cheesecake looks delicious. I've been making chevre and cream cheese at home and wonder if I could substitute a mix of those for the ricotta (which I have had little luck making at home.

Like Celia, this time of year, the garden is dictating a lot of what we eat. We're in Portland, so behind you produce-season-wise. Currently, peas are upon us, plus new potatoes, strawberries, and just started seeing some ripe raspberries. We ate asparagus several times a week for almost two months! Our chickens keep us well supplied with eggs and this year we're raising a few for meat as well.

I get a lot of my staples from a bulk natural food company, Azure Standard, that delivers to drop sites throughout the West. Between our monthly delivery, I shop at People's Co-op, which hosts a year-round farmers' market on Wednesdays. We pick up our raw milk nearby on the same day and I usually make cream cheese and yogurt that evening.

I try to buy a mix of tender and longer-lasting produce when I can, especially during the winter when I just as soon not go shopping every week. Most winter produce is pretty hardy anyway, so it seems to naturally work out that I only have to produce shop every couple weeks.

We get meat farm-direct, going in with a group of friends for a whole steer, hog, lamb once a year and getting a couple batches of chickens for the freezer from a local farm during the summer.

 

Tessa
June 12, 2009

Hello Heidi,
Greetings from sunny England!
I just wanted to say how very much I enjoy your recipes and musings. I find them really inspirational.
Also wondered if you could recommend any good wholefood restaurants in New York as I'm bringing my 16 yr old over for an after exam treat holiday at the end of August/beg Sept and I will definitely need some respite from her wanting to visit Taco Bell and the like!!
Thanks

HS: I'd do a search on chowhound.com or yelp.com to see what sounds interesting to you. I've had some mixed experiences with a few of the "natural food" centric restaurants there.

 

Heidi, your great recipe jogged my memory of another one I never stop making in the summer thanks to the garden bounty of my zukes and the crooknecks. It's from the The New York Times: Summer Squash Gratin also.

 

Marie-Sophie
June 12, 2009

Heidi, the recipe sounds great!

As for my shopping habits: I live in Germany and as I am in the middle of my legal clerkship I get paid very little and have to watch what I shop and where I get it.
"Aldi" is very popular here, quite cheap - AND they have a good organic range! They're also trying to get things locally which is a big bonus.
So I do my shopping there twice or three times a week to get fresh fruit and veg there (as much organic as possible) and whatever I need to cook.They also have organic meat and eggs and everything!
Once a week I stop by "Alnatura" which is a big organic food store (kind of like "Wholefoods" i guess) and get grains and breakfast stuff there as well as my baking ingredients (they have a great range in sugar/agave syrup and organic chocolate as well as soy products).
And as often as I can manage I visit our town market to buy fruit and veg directly from local farmers!
In Germany it gets easier and easier to get organic products! Great!! :-)

 

Lisa
June 12, 2009

Wow, this is tailor made for the Mariquita mystery box (well, bag really) that I picked up yesterday. I swear I got about 5# of squash and the biggest bunch of oregano I've ever seen. I'm gonna sub basil for the parsley, though, since I also got the first basil of the season.

Yum, thanks!

Oh, p.s. plus bread crumbs from my Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes A Day that I am still wildly in love with after 5 months of making it.

 

Kris
June 12, 2009

This sounds lovely, as I'm always a fan of the gratin. As a child I suspected there was too much summer squash, but somewhere in my adulthood I realized its incredible lightness and loveliness. Switching out the herbs would prevent any possible monotony, even if bumper crops prevail.

 

Kris
June 12, 2009

Where to find food? Berkeley was easy, since I made twice week pilgrimages to the Berkeley Bowl and farmers' market. Moving back to Portland, I find myself at City Market (between work and home), and sometimes Whole Foods, and not nearly enough New Seasons Market. I'm a fan of Portland's many, many farmers' markets. I'm also the lucky bidder at a recent auction of a year's supply of organic, free-range eggs (one dozen per week! heavenly). Portland is also home to incredible coffee, beer, wine, soda, etc.

 

SeizeThePresent
June 12, 2009

$6 to $8 a dozen for eggs? I have to agree with a previous posting that this seems astounding! Just what's so special that you'd pay this kind of price? Is it philosophical or something you really get as a nutritional return? If it's nutritional, I'd really love details please.

By the way, the squash casserole looks wonderful!

 

Alene
June 12, 2009

My (vegan) daughter and I live in Chicago, and we visited San Francisco a couple weeks ago. We rented a small apartment for the week in the lower Haight, and promptly filled the kitchen with tons of groceries from Rainbow Foods! We were in heaven there--such an incredible variety of fresh, organic fruits and veggies, and no meat in the whole place!

HS: You were right in my neighborhood! Glad you enjoyed yourself!

 

Karen
June 12, 2009

Hi! This looks and sounds great, as always. I love squash but the family does not. I keep trying and will with this! We live in Duluth MN so our plants just went in last week. And it was 38 here a few mornings ago so everything is off to a slow start............. CSA box next wednesday and cannot wait!

 

Carlin
June 12, 2009

hi Heidi,
loved the tips about San Francisco shopping as moving there from Australia in a few weeks.

In Sydney Australia where I've been the past 8 years I shop at the following places:

The Suveran- in bondi junction, opened in the last year- they have great bulk goods, lots of stuff for raw foodies like raw cacao, maca powder, great dried fruits, nuts, sea salt, quinoa, buckwheat, etc. Also yummy raw chocolate treats, sprouted quinoa and buckwheat bread, etc

Fox Studios farmers markets- yes some things here are very expensive, however the tomato lady has amazing tomatoes, Ray the chicken guy has the BEST eggs, awesome kombucha and raw goat kefir stand, organic fruit and veg, sourdough breads, and if you eat meat there is lovely pasture-fed organic lamb and beef

Whole Foods House- They are good for bulk goods, nuts, seeds, grains, etc. They are very expensive, but seem to have the best quality in Sydney. It is definitely tough here compared to North America- there is WAY less selection of bulk goods, and it is much more expensive, and if you are concerned about the environment- most of it is flown in from overseas- one of many reasons I am excited to be moving back to North America

Sonoma breads- They make wholegrain sourdough breads from scratch in a wood-fired oven and have wheat-free (but not gluten free) options like spelt, rye, kamut

Rowies Cakes- make gluten free pastries and cakes good for special occasions, but I find them really sweet (why do gluten free goods always have som much sugar in them????)

There are probably more places too, but my computer is getting moody so I must sign off!

 

ollie
June 12, 2009

If I did butter! and if squash was ready in NE!
Saving a buck or two-
I go to ethnic markets for spices- local Indian and Asian and Armenian markets have spices in bulk for short $- and are generally worthy. Also, instead of bulk beans and grains from a Whole Foods, usually dried in the Spanish section- or Italian- tend to be great for soups, bean salads, and grains mixed into 'casserole' type foods are servicable and pennies per pound.
.
Save the $$ for a special meal.

 

wgg
June 12, 2009

This recipe came at the right time. Tons of squash at home and oregano in the backyard. Everyone loved it and there were no leftovers

 

rodneyripper
June 12, 2009

Stuck out here in the boonies in the midwest, we have none of the usual stores, however, we have a wonderful farm stand and Amish up the road. Farm fresh eggs at 1.50 a dozen, fresh peas at $1.50 a gallon baggie full and the tomatoes are to die for! Wonderful squash and zucchini ar 2 for $1.00! I make use of this bounty at least twice a week and suffer through Wal-Mart for the staples. I guess it all evens out. Now if I can just get someone around here to grow arugula I would be in heaven!

 

Blue Oakie
June 12, 2009

Heidi,
This looks fantastic! Love the lemon zest, I put it in almost everything. I live in Tulsa, OK, and in the spring and summers the weekly farmers markets are great, and are also source for goat's milk & cheese as well as eggs (just $4/doz). This is our first year with CSA and that is great. I cook whatever I get -- I like the surprise and having to get creative. For staples, the OK Food Coop provides a lot, but there's always somethings I have to go to a "regular" grocery store for. It's more challenging to eat locally in the Winter here, so we tend to eat more meat then because we have a local, organic source, but right now I'm in vegetable heaven. Thanks for all your ideas and inspiration -- love your site so much!

 

Suz of Santa Cruz, CA
June 12, 2009

Heidi - thanks for a wonderful site and a great (as usual) recipe. We are sooo lucky here - we have 2 year-round farmer's markets (Wed.& Sat) and four more during the Spring thru Fall season. I'm surprised your good eggs are so costly - we can get them at these market (organic, pasture raised) for $3.50 or less. We usually shop there once a week, but as our garden comes in, sometimes less often. We just got a Whole Foods but I' m not going there as we have several local stores that are mostly local/organic foods. I do pick up some staples at local groceries, sometimes Trader Joes. Its super to hear from all of you, see how you do things, use things, cook things. Blessings all.

 

Lynnie
June 13, 2009

Oh my God Heidi--this looks amazing. Heading to our local farmer's market in a few hours and will keep my eyes peeled for some summer squash and courgette.

In terms of how I manage my food shopping I have to confess that I cheat a little. I work a lot of weird long hours and I don't have a car so I often order groceries online from an excellent local independent grocer and have them delivered. I'm well versed in their store so I know which brands and things I'm looking for and their website is great (if you're in Vancouver check out www.stongs.com) so for me it's incredibly convenient. I generally aim for an early Saturday morning delivery and spend a couple of hours washing and pre-chopping veg and cutting up fruit for a large container of fruit salad I can keep in the fridge.

Now that summer is here and our local markets are kicking into gear I will likely order less produce from Stong's and instead walk up to our West End farmer's market on Saturday mornings so I can take advantage of local produce.

I also do a run about every 6 to 8 weeks to a couple of excellent food stores outside of the city centre (Famous Foods and Gourmet Warehouse) to stock up on things like nuts, dried beans and lentils, rices, grains, spices and harder to find things like harissa paste and coconut oil. In a pinch I will nip into our neighbourhood Whole Foods (called Capers here in downtown Vancouver) and grab a scoop of adzuki beans or a couple of scoops of whole wheat orzo or couscous from their bulk section but generally I find it more cost efficient to hit up Famous Foods for this type of stuff.

I know I'm spoiled rotten for choice food-wise living in this neighbourhood but when time is of the essence having someone just show up at your door can really help. The time I save schlepping back and forth I can actually put to use prepping food for the week, so it actually works out perfectly.

 

Sandy A
June 13, 2009

I am not a vegetarian, although I don't eat much meat (maybe a turkey burger once or twice a year), some fish also once or twice a year, and I have come to hate chicken. I pay much too much money for food here in Florida; we don't seem to have a farmer's market conveniently located. I go to Public, the big supermarket chain here, and try to make do with that. I am always on one diet or another which can be very expensive, but I make all my meals (for one) from scratch. This week I paid over $100 for groceries and vowed publicly at the cash register I wouldn't be back for a month, but I know what isn't true. Thank you for all your recipes. Sandy A.

 

Mary
June 13, 2009

This looks fantastic! As for shopping, our company has a local farm set up a stand in the lobby of our office building on Fridays and the turnout is amazing! As a mom, working full time, it makes getting local fresh fruits and veggies much easier. I highly recommend helping to get one started where you work!

 

Michelle
June 13, 2009

Tizmarelda - In addition to Lauren's suggestions for bulk bins, Fairway on Broadway and 75th St on the Upper West Side has some bins upstairs, in the organic foods section.

 

Jessica K.
June 13, 2009

My shopping routine is one big trip weekly and little trips once or twice during the week for those items I forgot or we run out of fast. Now that summer is here I am super excited for the Farmer's Market and growing my own garden veggies.

I am a healthy eater wanna-be. My husband and 3 kids will have non of it and since I found your site I have made several dishes that ended being all mine. Which is fine with me. If it were just me puttering around my kitchen I would eat my way through your website! My favorite is the Quinoa and Grilled Zucchini. I am trying to adapt your dishes to their palates s-l-o-w-l-y and when I get a rare meal by myself you are my inspiration and I have enjoyed every bite! Thanks for the yummy recipes and I will soldier on with my quest for getting more veggies in my family.

We are not vegetarians (yet?) but I have been trying to get back to a plant based/non-processed food diet and only eat meat rarely anymore but I still have to cook it. With a family of 5 a grocery bill can be quite large and I would love to cut out the meat from the bill. I'm sure that alone would save money and I am trying to find a good health/natural food store here in my small Iowa town where I can buy in bulk (bins). I know they are more inexpensive.

Thanks again, I am just a mom trying to live and eat better and your recipes, photographs and writing are such an inspiration.

 

Maya
June 13, 2009

Great recipe - must try it!

Indian stores are good places to buy spices in bulk. In New York, the Manhattan Fruit Exchange in Chelsea market has a good selection of reasonably priced produce. Sahadi's in Brooklyn is a great Middle Eastern store. Chinatown is good to shop for Asian vegetables and greens like bok choy, different types of squashes and melons, etc. And of course the Union Square Greenmarket is great May-October.

 

Amy
June 13, 2009

I have similar shopping habits and try to shop locally as much as I can. I get an organic produce delivery every week. It makes eating healthy much easier. I stop in at the Alameda Marketplace once every week or so to pick up dairy, meat, bread and all sorts of yummy tidbits. I am also lucky to be receipient of the occasional gift of fresh eggs from my cousin's backyard chickens.

 

katie
June 13, 2009

Looks fabulous. I love the yellow squash, so pretty. Very fresh and summery.

 

Jessica
June 13, 2009

This post came at perfect timing! Our Saturday Market in Salt Lake City just opened today & I came home with all sorts of goodies! Thanks for the lovely posts as always!

 

Angela
June 13, 2009

Heidi,
First of all I love your blog, you are an inspiration in the kitchen!
We made the move to rural AZ two years ago and we have a garden and a hen house with 9 chickens so we grow as much as we can and sell eggs for $2 a dozen. I make all of our breads including sour dough.
I care not to eat meat either all though my husband gets a little upset if he doesn't always get a steak but he deals with it. I shop where I can in the Phoenix area and I love spices too but sometimes it's hard to find what I want so online shopping is a good thing sometimes. I can't wait to try this! p.s. your recipe for onion dip is a big big hit!

 

Vince
June 13, 2009

ARGH! Bi-Rite, Boulette's and Rainbow Grocery! 3 of my favorite things about SF...

 

Janelle
June 13, 2009

We just moved, and there isn't a farmer's market in our town, so we've started a great big garden!! We have TONS of zucchini, and have tried two of your fantastic recipes already! The zucchini bread, and the zucchini-spinach soup which is completely AMAZING. I never would have thought to put cilantro & lemon in it. I can't wait to try this gratin!

 

Zoe
June 13, 2009

I suppose the only thing unique about my shopping is that, though I eat meat about twice a month, I never buy it. I can't abide the ethical ramifications of factory farmed meats. Lucky for me, my mom is a cattle rancher in Texas. Once every year or so, we raise a calf free range and happy, then have it butchered and share it among the family. I also buy hogs and occasionally lambs from a neighbor. Meat shopping for me is as simple as walking to my garage freezer.

Herbs, tomatoes, and okra come mostly from my back porch. Fresh veggies come from either a state wide grocery chain or a small organic farm in Austin called Boggy Creek. I usually hit the big grocery store once a week, and then go to the smaller places when they are open, or if I just don't know what I want for supper.

 

April
June 13, 2009

This sounds delicious, but I'm not a fan of zucchini and I've never had summer squash. My husband has, and he found it gross.

But we both like acorn squash. Can this be made with acorn squash?

 

The Leftoverist
June 13, 2009

Reading your routine makes me wish I lived in SF! Though we don't suffer too badly in Seattle with a farmers market in every neighborhood. There are lots of little Mom and Pop Asian markets in my neighborhood, and I'm so spoiled because of that. The mangos I've been getting lately are to die for.

 

Sylvia Nadia
June 14, 2009

Thanks for the recipes...esp the beans..I have never come across such healthy meals, affordable n simple simple method of cooking in any cookbooks...Thanks once again.

 

Vickie
June 14, 2009

Thanks so much for this delicious recipe. I made it last night and it is a wonderful use for squash. Made a few changes. Only used 1 cup crumbs cause I didn't have whole wheat bread to make crumbs from. Cut olive oil and butter in half to save calories. Used Lite Jarlsberg cheese. My husband requested more potatoes next time, so probably will use 1 lbs squash and 1 lb potates. But this recipe is definitely a keeper!

 

anonymous
June 14, 2009

New Yorkers - go to Westside Market on 14th street or uptown near Columbia U on 110th. BEST GROCERY STORE I'VE EVER BEEN TO. Every time I see their insane produce section, followed by their incredible cheese section, I die from an explosion of happiness.

 

Shonna
June 14, 2009

Heidi, this looks like a great recipe and I am planning on trying it tonight or tomorrow. I was wondering if I could throw in a few cups of quinoa or wheatberries to make it a full meal on its own? Every recipe of yours I've tried so far I love. Please keep the whole grain recipes coming.

 

randa
June 14, 2009

heidi - I love you site, but just wanted to tell you...I live up in Pullman, WA where our season is totally behind yours! This looks delicious - but I'm going to have to remember to scroll back in about a month when we've got the squash..

 

emiglia
June 14, 2009

I love the look of that recipe... definitely going to try it out. I've been sliding back into a vegetarian way of cooking for the summer because I find it lighter, and I'm loving the effect it's having on my wallet.

 

Heavenly! All you Californians are blogging about summer squash but it hasn't hit the northeast yet...fingers crossed we get it soon at the markets!

Since local food is much harder to come by here, my routine revolves around a weekly trip to Whole Foods for veggies, grains and beans in bulk, and eggs. I rarely shop in the center of the store, just around the perimeter :-)

Now that it's summer, my CSA starts next week and I go to the Farmer's Market each Thursday. Whatever is fresh dictates the meals!

 

LA Cook
June 14, 2009

Made this into more of a light main dish by adding diced-up tofu (had to get used up) and some cottage cheese for protein.

 

Elizabeth
June 14, 2009

Dear all

I'm fascinated to read about your food purchasing habits. This may be a massive over-generalisation (call me an ignorant antipodean if you will) but it has always struck me that there is a much clearer divide between the food purchasing habits of "foodie" North Americans and the rest of the population than there is here in Australia...particularly when it comes to foodies with organic/vegetarian/whole foods predilections.

Having spent a very very small amount of time in the US (staying with my brother, who was doing a Fullbright) I was ENORMOUSLY struck by how hard it is to buy anything of the whole foody/kind to animals/non-additive-loaded variety from "normal" supermarkets - we had to go to an organic store to get "free range" beef, for crying out loud! (I wasn't even aware until then that there was such a thing as NON-free range.) And of course, that meant that all such products were much more expensive than the foods available elsewhere.

My normal supermarket here in Sydney (an IGA) has a lot of crap, no doubt: but it also has a good range of all the lovely legumes and ancient grains, gluten-free options, organic options...the produce might not be as fresh as a market, but there are heaps of kindlier animal product options and it's not too bad.

As a general, run of the mill, very normal supermarket, it has heaps of stuff that would cater to every foodie's desire - and this is so normal, indeed, that even the bigger chains like Coles and Woolworths would have a similar range.

Whereas in Princteon, where we were staying, it was either a RIDICULOUSLY wanky and overpriced organic store or Wallmart - no middle ground - and it was only by going to the former option that you could be sure you wouldn't be getting frighteningly complex additives in the most basic staples - like milk, for goodness sake! My sister-in-law bought what seemed like normal puffed wheat from Wallmart, and it turned out it was covered with not just sugar, but a sugar/aspartame mix!

It's a bizarre paradox - and though my theory is that it has produced a breed of impassioned foodies that are body and soul committed to taking a different approach, it does worry me that there are no general, mid-range alternatives. How would you survive as a student, for example, who couldn't afford the inflated prices?

I'm really interested to hear your thoughts on this: and you should really feel free to tell me how wrong I am - but I was surprised by Carlin's comments comparing Australia's availability of food negatively to that of the US. I grew up in Adelaide in a VERY whole food household (lentil pie for afternoon tea and lunches that always "smelled funny" according to the other kids) and I know that a small part of the motivation for my cash-strapped parents was how much cheaper it was to eat that way.

But perhaps other Aussies also take a different view?

e

 

glutenfreeforgood
June 14, 2009

This looks wonderful (and easy). No problem making it gluten free -- I love those kinds of recipes. Easy conversions. Yukon gold potatoes give such a nice "creamy" feel to a dish like this, especially with the squash. Can't wait to try it! Thanks...

 

Aine
June 15, 2009

Must say, I agree with Elizabeth from Australia. I live in Cork, Ireland and I was surprised by the work that seems to go into obtaining good whole foods in North America. While if I am in the city centre I'll always pop into the English Market, which has fantastic variety and organic produce (esp cheese selection) and the place is just always buzzing, but after a busy day I've no problem in going to a supermarket like Supervalue. or even Aldi to get some organic veggies and lentils. Again, as above, whole grains and lentils were put on our plates as kids as they're great value.
On Thursday mornings, I'll try to get to the Mahon Point Farmers Market, which is held outside a shopping centre. Again, always buzzing, full of local produce, great breads, coffees to die for, just yum!

When in California a couple of years ago and in the mood for a healthy smoothie I nearly spat it out after my first taste.....I did a U-turn to go back to see what I had actually ordered, as I thought it was just a plain run of the mill fruity smoothie. Then I realised that almost every one of the smoothies had sugery sherbit added. Although I tried, I could not finish it and for me it rounded up the general attitude on food....you must go out of your way to avoid additives and overly processed food.

BTW, on a good note I did adore California esp SF, cannot wait to go back and I love your site Heidi, the Lentil Curry is my fav so far!

 

Stephanie
June 15, 2009

I realized, long after posting, that I left out going to the Indian and Armenian grocers for spices, beans, cheeses, dosa batter, and even some produce (one of the Armenian stores has the BEST tomatoes, from 1 state away but close to local).

Aine from Ireland & Elizabeth from Australia, isn't it sad?! So hard to find non-processed foods in the US. One of the best things about a CSA is that it makes cooking fresh foods the path of least resistance!

Even when it comes to healthy, we've got it all wrong here. When a new study reports that some whole food (soy or green tea, for example) is good for you, it suddenly shows up in everything you buy. Of course, it shows up as "extract" or in some other totally processed and unnatural incarnation.

One can only hope that the whole foods phenomenon can catch on in the same way.

 

Patricia
June 15, 2009

Recipe looks great. I like your comments about foodshopping habits. I think it's perfectly acceptable to pay premium for good, organic, free-range eggs, and shopping the bulk section of WF or the local food co-op is a good way to be healthy and save money.

 

Bumble Duckie
June 15, 2009

Heidi, as a first tme commenter, I'd just like to say I
To Elizabeth in Sydney, I've lived in Australia (Melbourne) for over a decade now, and my first thought when reading your comment was, where is your local IGA? Is it a suburb like Newtown? Because I find Coles & Safeway (what Woolworths is called in Victoria) certainly do not carry legumes & ancient grains! I wish they did! :) Their selection of dried beans is pitiful. That's why I asked about the location of your IGA, as perhaps it's the general character of the burb that influences what's available in the supermarket. I find it's often the case here.
I would say not until 2005 that Safeway even really put much thought into expanding their organic products. (Definitely later than, say, in the UK)
There's a 'market' near where I live, Camberwell Market, but even there there's only a couple dedicated stalls offering specifically organic produce.
I have to go to this tiny whole foods store to find decent dried beans, most from o/s, or spelt-made pasta etc are sooo expensive. Or go a few suburbs out where there's a huge Asian market, so a myriad of choices there, but the dried beans tend to come from Canada, which beats my purpose of trying to reduce my food mileage! Hehe... If you happen to know where I can buy beans online (Aus retailer) for a good price, do please let me know, would be much appreciated.
As for the meat section, my local Safeway did not carry organic and/or free-range meats until about four years ago. I suppose if the demand isn't there, the store won't put it up for sale. Even if I don't buy the meat, it still saddens me that people aren't at least tweaking to more free-range animals.
Anyway, I'd LOVE to have an IGA like yours! :)There isn't an IGA near me though unfortunately; they're good since they keep the two biggies (Coles & Safeway) from completely dominating AND controlling our grocery prices - those two are quite evoool! :D

 

Bumble Duckie
June 15, 2009

Agh, don't know why first time ever comment cut off like that!

Heidi, I meant to say that I've lurked reading comments for a bit now, but have

 

Anonymous
June 15, 2009

Ok...what is up with this...third time lucky!

Heidi, I meant to say that I've lurked reading comments for a bit now, but have loved your blog the whole time. Even if some of the ingredients are hard for me to find, your way of cooking inspires me nonetheless! So thank you for the excellent work that you do! :)

 

Nori
June 15, 2009

YUM! I was casting around for something to do with the million squashes that came in my CSA box, and fortuitously stumbled across this. The oregano pesto really makes this gratin extra-flavorful (I substituted arugula instead of parsley, which I didn't have). I also used a vegan "cheese" recipe from The Voluptuous Vegan instead of the cheese you call for here, which, while I'm sure it made it less creamy, really held it together well. A keeper for sure! Thanks, Heidi. :)

 

Lesley
June 15, 2009

Best dish ever! I made it last night for my dinner club. One friend ate it to be polite because she "hates squash." She asked for seconds!

I used a sweet potato thinly sliced with a carrot peeler-- perfect with the gruyere cheese. Also, I made bread crumbs by toasting rice bread for my friends who cannot eat wheat. very tasty!

 

Angie G.
June 15, 2009

what a wonderful thing to share our food routines! being in grad school has hurried up my food routine so i buy from trader joe's most of the time. as i enter the fruits and veggies r by the front. my time is spent here. buying the organic staples. mushrooms, zucchini, garlic, and onions , basil etc. i find that i do use meat sparingly turkey, salmon, i tend to cook very cali-talian...as many fresh organic herbs as possible...
i want to thank u Heidi truly for being such an inspiration i love the amazing flavors you create by simply putting the 'staples' together in interesting ways..u have inspired me to get more into the bulk grains (i'm still a bit intimidated but grad school is now over so i can experiment :)..our food bill just for the record is about $100/wk.
On a local note here in Ventura, CA we eat at Seaward Sushi, Anacapa Brewing company (for the fish tacos) . and the Vegan restaurant Mary's Secret Garden...(for the spring rolls).
Thanks again keep up the amazing work.
Bless!
-angie

 

camille j khan
June 15, 2009

Hi,my name is Camille and i'm from Trinidad,an island in the Caribbean,so we eat alot of spicy foods.Our Foods are different so I was looking for ways to cook besides fast foods,we eat a lot of meat like chicken and beef,I love shrimp even though its high in cholestorol,so can you teach me some simple ways using our types of ingredient...

 

This sounds absolutely fantastic. I was never a zucchini or squash fan until my wife started growing them in our garden and telling me we needed to cook with them every night for two weeks to keep up!

The ingredients here are wonderful, I love that are all whole, real foods. Can't wait to make this one!

 

Jillian
June 15, 2009

This looks amazing! I can't wait to try it out. Summer squash is one of my favorite vegetables, and I am always looking for new recipes.

 

MoneyFunk
June 15, 2009

Anything gratin with crunch topping and looks as fabulous as this one... has to be tried. Thank you for another fabulous recipe!

 

Laura O
June 16, 2009

I'm trying this dish tonight, thanks again for another wonderful summertime treat, Heidi!

For New Yorkers looking to stock up on bulk grains, dried legumes, and the like, try Kalustyans on Lex and 28th. Some of it's organic, most of it isn't, but their prices are great and the selection is the best I've found. They carry all sorts of spices and dried herbs, as well. I always pick up a big bag of lemon-flavored almonds, too. Amazing!

 

Nicole
June 16, 2009

When I saw this recipe I knew I had to try it, so I had it in mind when we went to the Farmers Market on Saturday. I found several lovely zucchini and finally gave this a try last night for dinner. It was amazing!!!

For the cheese I just added a sprinkle of parm, and we had just gotten a lovely pesto from the farmers market as well, so I used that as the sauce.

The lemon zest on the bottom of the dish was a very interesting addition - I never would have thought of it, but it was delicious!!

Thanks for the great recipe!

 

DesertDaisy
June 16, 2009

Another delicious recipe and it's sumptuous without the use of cream. I used the last of my oregano from the garden - it's now 43 C here in Dubai and very humid so all my herbs die soon. I would increase the potato to courgette ratio for my family to devour it with gusto, but it went down well and I loved it. The green garlicky sauce is divine.

 

Kate
June 16, 2009

This was DELICIOUS. A great way to use summer produce on a chilly, rainy day here on the east coast.

Lunch leftovers = even better.

 

Heather
June 16, 2009

I made this the other night and WOW. I didn't have any potatoes so I used a red bell pepper and a small onion, I didn't have any fresh parsley and oregano so I used half a red bell pepper and 8 basil leaves, and I used raw sheep's milk cheese because that's what I had on hand...and it was amazing! Cold or hot this dish rocks! I can't wait to try it with potatoes.

 

Katy
June 16, 2009

I used feta for cheese, dill/mint combo for herbs, and did not bother with potatoes as I didn't have any on hand. I made the mistake of NOT adding some of the breadcrumbs into the squash mixture and ended up with too much moisture in the bottom of the pan. It still tastes great and I suspect the moisture will take care of itself when reheated. Enjoyed riffing on the overall concept. ;-)

 

Suzanne
June 16, 2009

Just made this with a bounty of various squash and potatoes from the Montclair farmers' market in Oakland, plus parsley and oregano I have growing in pots on the patio. For those interestd in doing a vegan version, I used a vegan soy cheese, the only one I've found that actually melts well, called Follow Your Heart (available at Whole Foods). I used 1/2 cup of that, plus 1/4 cup of regular parmesan - but I could have easily used a soy/vegan parmesan instead. Oh, and I used Earth Balance margarine with the breadcrumbs. Wonderful! Even the husb loved it, and he's not a squash fan. It made the house smell great while baking, too.

My question - what would you serve it with to make a full meal? I was at a loss so just ate it with some leftovers that didn't really "go"... ideas?

 

Ohhhh you have outdone yourself - that looks so good! You can't really go wrong with olive oil and butter, but you really can't go wrong with Gruyere cheese - it's my fave!

 

Rachelteehee
June 16, 2009

So, I finally made this -- and didn't realize I'd run out of gruyere. I substituted with parmesan and it was great.

Also, I didn't have fresh oregano or parsley and used fresh rosemary instead. This all turned out really well!! Thanks for such a versatile recipe!

 

April
June 16, 2009

I made this for dinner tonight. Instead of using real bread crumbs, I used TVP. Still very good! Thanks!

 

Moll
June 16, 2009

Made a farmer's market dinner of this recipe (made with zucchini and orange squash), along with fried green tomatoes, baked chicken, and vidalia onions for dinner tonight. It was AMAZING! Definitely adding it to my regular rotation. Thanks for sharing!

 

Nursestryker
June 16, 2009

Ubba mubba gubba, this was amazing. My BF and I tore through the whole pan and I'll make this again and again.

I can't wait to experiment with different cheeses (I used a Dutch cheese, starts with U, sorry I forgot the name).

Also got to use my new mandolin and my new microplaner zester, both which made the job so easy. Yeah! New gadgets!

The only thing I regret is not making enough of the sauce for tofu scramble tomorrow.

 

Justin
June 16, 2009

Looks delicious! A definite must try. Thanks for sharing.

 

Lisa
June 16, 2009

Thought the squash casserole looked fantastic. I made it tonight for dinner. My only suggestions are omit the potatoes, the squash is delicious alone and second, you only need half the olive oil otherwise it it too greasy. Amazing recipe thanks for such a winner.

 

Ruckus
June 16, 2009

Heidi,

That was me that asked - thank you for responding! I am so excited to hear about everyone's food routines and try this recipe.

As for me, I get a large produce bag full of veggies and fruits grown right in Los Angeles or on nearby farms. The proceeds benefit a community-based organization close to my heart - Community Services Unlimited (http://www.csuinc.org/programs/villagemarketplace.html). My roomie and I then make a mad race to finish cooking everything before we get the next bag, so I end up cooking about 3x a week.

Some of my favorite health-food stores to visit in LA are Nature Mart in Los Feliz (one of the best bulk bins in LA packed into a very small space!), Cooportunity in Santa Monica, and Sprouts in Torrance. I try to avoid Whole Foods when possible because it generally requires my whole paycheck and I am not a fan of their policies and dominance of the health food market. I generally try to hit up the bulk bins every few months and go to Trader Joes for weekly essentials (tofu, bread, etc.).
I also go to local Indian markets in LA, Culver City, or Torrance for spices and other South Asian essentials.

For teas, folks should try Chado (one in Santa Monica and one in Pasadena) or Teavana (in Glendale). I go every few months to stock up on high-quality teas.

For the commenter re: the food desert in Ventura County, you should try the Isla Vista Food Coop near UCSB. I shopped there as a student and love it! Its a great community institution.

I could write a lot more, but I will stop here and save the rest for future commenting! :)


 

Johannesburg fan
June 17, 2009

I made this yesterday for a family get together and the unanimous decision was that it was the best 'new' recipe we'd tried out in the last two years. Absolutely scrumptious. Thanks

 

Kristina
June 17, 2009

First of all, this recipe looks amazing - I can't wait to try it.

Second of all, I totally agree with everyone who has difficulty finding healthy (and i mean really, healthy) food in the US. It's almost impossible to find anything without additives or preservatives, or something processed, and most people's perception of what is "healthy" is completely warped. If it's frozen or has a shelf life if a gagillion years, just because it's low-calorie doesn't mean it's healthy.

I try to eat real, natural food as much as possible. Farmers markets are great but I live in Minnesota where we really only have those in the summer. Other than that, organic produce and meat is definitely expensive, so the result is that basically I just don't eat much meat.

I think part of the problem in the US is that a) we have a weird version of "healthy", and b) we eat so much processed food that I think it's sort of skewed people's taste buds. If something isn't loaded with salt or fake sugar the majority of people find it bland.

 

Jilly
June 17, 2009

I made this last night and the entire dish was nearly devoured. When we weren't stuffing our faces we were talking about what other veggies could be substituted for a little variety. It's definitely being added into the "repertoire"! Thanks!

 

Sarah
June 17, 2009

I made this for dinner and it was superb!

My personal alterations were based on what could be had or had not in the kitchen: parmesan and goat cheddar in place of gruyere and no potatoes.

Yum, will definitely be a belly-filling summer favorite. I'm almost glad that its cold in June here (SF)! It's a good excuse to keep eating comfort food.

 

Meredith
June 18, 2009

I just made this tonight for dinner. It was just so flavorful and was a nice summer comfort food!

 

Ryan
June 18, 2009

I love this recipe so much. My mother used to make something very similar to this when I grew up!

 

Tamera Jones
June 19, 2009

Have never made a comment on a recipe. This was just delish! I've thoroughly enjoyed your recipes, Heidi, and find myself often coming to your blog for ideas. Some of my faves are the strawberry shortcakes and the favorite blueberry pancakes. And this gratin, which puts summer squash to excellent use.

 

Anonymous
June 19, 2009

How nice to read about fresh farm vegetables. Here in the city we can
only dream about farm fresh. Latha

 

Amber Fox
June 21, 2009

Hi Heidi!

I've been an avid follower of your blog for a long time now, starting when I was still living in Toronto!
Amazing still to me that I happened to have moved to your very neighbourhood, and can now easily find the many treasures we didn't have access to in Ontario!

But, I'm commenting to invite you and Wayne to a coffee tasting, (called a 'cupping' in the specialty coffee industry). I'd love to host you both at FourBarrel Coffee, where I am the lead cupper. I set up a cupping every weekday at 2pm, drop by anytime! Thanks again for your wonderful blog!

HS: Thanks Amber! We were actually just going to walk over there for an afternoon boost. I'll pass the word on to Wayne, and we'll def. come in for one of your tastings soon. Thanks for the nice note and generous invitation.

 

Allen Rees
June 21, 2009

May I just say, by the way, that those are clinically precise and very comely squash slices in the accompanying prep image? Huzzah!

 

Suneeta Chilukuri
June 22, 2009

This sounds delicous and timely as I just picked up some wonderful squash and new potatoes at the farmer's market this morning. I can't wait to try it tomorrow.

I have long been admiring your blog and recently bought your cookbook. Both have been such an inspiration for me.

I loved reading about your shopping adventures (as well as all the other comments). As for me, I have 3 kids (and hubby) so I (unfortunately) end up making 2 different meals. One for the younger 2 and one for the oldest and hubby and me. I have a small fridge but luckily live very close to many wonderful food sources (the Peninsula-30 miles S of San Francisco).

I shop at the farmer's market on Sundays for produce. After that I go to Trader Joes for milk,eggs, juices, bread, a lot! I also go to Cooks Seafood, a local fish market, a couple times a week. Then there's the Japanese store near my house for soba noodles, shashimi grade tuna, brown rice vinegar, soy, salted nori sheets (yum). I also have to go to Safeway about once a week for cereal boxes for the kids, wine. As you might have guessed, I pretty much shop atleast one place on a daily basis! Oh and I go to the Indian store every now and then for rice, spices, some veggies. And how can I forget my source for excellent produce and friendly service, Sigonas Market in Redwood City. There's more but I'm not going to admit to it!

Ok now I'm scaring myself. I have to learn to plan meals better and shop less often!

 

Christine
June 22, 2009

Just made this and its fantastic. Next time I'm going to double the amount of oregano sauce, as it really makes the dish sing.

 

Kate
June 22, 2009

Thanks Heidi!
I made this last night with the bounty of the Noe Valley market - used basil and feta, and only had some panko on hand, but it all worked! My boyfriend made the ultimate yum face and all were very happy - made a beautiful plate with field greens and edible flowers...

FYI, I've made every spring recipe here for the last 2 months and all have been wonderful! I'm new to cooking (finally a good kitchen!) but these recipes are making it easy and SO satisfying... I feel a new chapter of my life is in full swing and it feels so good to be in touch with the seasons, and to be eating locally!

Just got a bounty of fruit from parents' garden and look forward to trying desserts!
Thank you...

 

Sunshine
June 22, 2009

this was the most amazingly yummy dish. i made this last night for dinner and doubled the recipe due to the size of our squash... and today every last bite has been devoured by my family.
i have been reading your blog pretty much since you started it but I have to say that this is my favorite recipe yet...thank you for posting and creating it.
yum!