Friday, August 12, 2011

An Easy Summer Vegetable Gratin

I drove out to McNeil's Produce on Highway 100 two days ago, and bought the vegetables for this gratin- two Bradley tomatoes, three 3 inch yellow squash, one six inch zucchini,three 3 inch baby mottled eggplants.

I sliced the tomatoes, sprinkled them with a little sea salt and olive oil and arranged them around the edge of a 9 inch pyrex pie plate,as though they were a crust. I sliced the other vegetables thinly and layered them in the dish, but only after I put them in a bowl and mixed them with a generous coating of sea salt and olive oil. This keeps them moist during baking. Between layers I added grated Pecorino Romano cheese, though I think Parmesan would have worked as well. I used perhaps 3/4 cup of cheese. I also put a layer of cheese on top. Then I slow baked it for 70 minutes at 325 degrees.

So simple, and like so many simple things, so good.

I plan to drive out to McNeil's tomorrow to pick up fresh eggs. I mentioned to Mrs. McNeil that I was only able to get downtown to the Farmers' Market on Sundays, and it hardly seemed worth it since the Amish were not there to sell me their eggs. "I can get you eggs", said Mrs McNeil, "I know a lot of people with chickens running around. And some of those eggs have double yolks too".

And I am happy to report that no one has vandalized the McNeil's stand this summer. Two summers ago someone burned their little shed down. Last summer someone sprayed red paint over it and ruined the vegetables. To quote an old lady I once took care of in the ICU "There is so much meanness around-"

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