Ah, the humble summer squash. It’s growing overboard in many a garden right now. Your neighbors are probably stopping by to ask if you’d like any zucchini, cause they just picked one the size of Texas that was lurking beneath an unturned leaf, and by the way, do you like yellow crookneck? Say yes, because then you can turn this prolific summer vegetable into this sassy potato and squash torte.
This torte dresses up the humble potato and $1-per-pound squash that’s overflowing farmers market stalls right now. It’s quite pretty and it’s tasty enough to be the centerpiece of a summer vegetarian dinner party, but secretly it’s just a matter layering the sliced veggies with some herbs and parmesan and sticking it in the oven. Somehow, when baked together with thyme, green onions, and parmesan cheese, the earthy potatoes and sweet summer squash are elevated far beyond their usual status of standard side veggie and into the realm of the extraordinarily delicious.
Since there are only a few ingredients in this torte, make sure that they are all of high quality. The fresher the squash and firmer the potatoes and nuttier the parmesan, the better it will be.
Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte
Adapted from Bon Apetit, via Epicurious
Use any combination of summer squash that you like. I used a yellow crookneck and a white marrow. You can also make this torte in a springform pan, so that you can present it whole on the table. It might leak, as mine did, so you’ll want to wrap the bottom in foil.
1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons all purpose flour
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 medium-large Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 1/4 lbs)
2 medium summer squash (about 1/2 lb)
3 teaspoons olive oil
Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease a 9-inch-diameter cake pan with olive oil or butter. Toss green onions, cheese, flour, and thyme, with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in medium bowl to blend.
Cut the squash into 1/8-inch-thick rounds. If you’ve got a mandoline, now’s the time to use it. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1/8-inch-thick rounds as well.
Layer 1/3 of potatoes in concentric circles in bottom prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Sprinkle lightly with salt. Layer 1/2 of squash in concentric circles atop potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/3 of cheese mixture. Repeat with 1/3 of potatoes, a sprinkle of salt, then 1/2 of squash and 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/3 of cheese mixture. Top with 1/3 of potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with remaining cheese mixture and press gently to flatten.
Cover pan with foil. Bake until potatoes are almost tender, about 40 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until torte begins 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 torte into wedges and serve.
Serves 4 as a main or 6 as a side dish.