I loooove yellow squash. Love it to itty bitty pieces. I’m also fairly favorable towards potatoes. Good thing this recipe uses both! It was one of those no-brainer type of recipes that, when I saw it, leaped at me and begged to be made. After all was said and done we realized it was a lot like scalloped potatoes, but this dish definitely offers its own yummy traits that set it apart.
The thing that was the most surprising about this recipe was…well two things.
1. The amount of prep work. Even though I knew we’d need to thinly slice the potatoes and squash, I still felt like prep work this time was the main part of the recipe. If you have a mandolin slicer handy, though, congrats, you’ll cut that time down by half probably. If you use one, (mandatory mom warning) please be careful as your potato or squash gets close to the blade.
2. OH MY GAWD. This tasted good. It really was surprising just how good because there’s so few ingredients.
I dunno about you but I can’t cut consistently thin pieces of anything, so a mandolin slicer really is nice to have in a kitchen arsenal. (Hugs mandolin. Gingerly.)
The squash gets the same treatment as the potatoes. The green onions will get added into the cheese filling mixture that goes between layers of potato and squash. Yup – CHEESE. There’s no bacon (OMG, though there could be…makes a note) so there better be cheese, right?
After all that slicing the only thing left to do is layer the pieces and parts. First the potatoes…
Next a layer of squash goes down and then a drizzle of olive oil.
After the squash and oil, put down a little of the cheese mixture. That’s layer one, now do that all over again.
The torte ends with a last layer of potatoes and sprinkling of cheese. A firm press encourages it all to meld together for its time in the oven.
This one does require some time in the oven, but I like to call that break time. Check your email time. Gossip on Twitter time. You know what to do. When it’s time to release it from the oven, this is what you get. And it made your house smell divine in the meantime.
The thing that made this so wonderful and tongue-gasm-ish for me was that it uses fresh thyme, which is my favorite herb. The way it blends with the potatoes – savory bliss. The squash gets a tad bit sweet when cooked and this compliments the heavier taste of the potatoes so nicely. Fervent cheese lovers might wish for more cheese on this one, and I might use a tad bit more next time, but I liked that it wasn’t swimming in cheese. It was almost perfect as far as cheese goes.
This was almost like having a preview of wonderful Fall feast food. If you can get the squash around Thanksgiving time, go for it. It is well worth the slicing! Hope you enjoy.
Herbed Summer Squash & Potato Torte
from Bon Appétit, June 2001 via Epicurious
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 1 hour 5 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 8
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
- 12 ounces yellow crookneck squash, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
- 6 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans. Set aside 1/4 cup sliced green onions. Toss remaining green onions, cheese, flour, thyme, salt and pepper in medium bowl to blend.
Layer 1/6 of potatoes in concentric circles in bottom of 1 prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Layer 1/4 of squash in concentric circles atop potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Repeat with 1/6 of potatoes, then 1/4 of squash and 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Top with 1/6 of potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture and press gently to flatten. Repeat procedure with second cake pan and remaining potatoes, squash, oil, and cheese mixture.
Cover pans with foil. Bake until potatoes are almost tender, about 40 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until tortes begin to brown and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes longer. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cool. Cover with foil and chill. Rewarm, covered with foil, in 350°F oven until heated through, about 30 minutes.)
Cut each torte into wedges. Sprinkle wedges with 1/4 cup green onions; serve.
My cake pans were 9-inch diameter and worked fine.
Double the cheese and green onion mixture (but not the thyme, one tablespoon was great) if you’re a big lover of cheese.
I ended up reheating one of the torte’s for dinner later and it did fall apart a little (was easier to cut and get out of the pan the first time). It still tasted good, though, so no worries.