An alternative to eggplant Parmesan, this variation on the Italian classic is made instead with summer squash, which overruns many people’s gardens in the summer. On hot summer days, serve it at room temperature for a meatless Monday meal.
Grilled Summer Squash Parmesan
- 4 Tbs. (2 fl. oz./60 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed but left whole
- 1 can (28 oz./875 g) diced or crushed tomatoes
- Fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 10 fresh basil leaves, torn into small pieces
- 2 lb. (1 kg) yellow summer squash, trimmed and cut into slices 1/3 inch (9 mm) thick
- 12 oz. (375 g) fresh mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup (1 oz./30 g) grated Parmesan cheese
1. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes and 1/2 tsp. salt, raise the heat to medium-high and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove from the heat, remove and discard the garlic, and stir in about half of the basil. Set aside.
2. Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill. Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C).
3. Put the squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with the remaining 3 Tbs. olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat. Grill the squash, turning once, until lightly charred on both sides, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
4. Lightly oil a large, shallow baking dish and spread about 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) of the tomato sauce on the bottom. Arrange one-fourth of the squash in the dish. Top with a third of the mozzarella slices and a few pieces of basil. Cover with another 1/4 cup sauce. Make 2 more layers of squash, mozzarella, basil and sauce. Top with a final layer of squash and sauce and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake, uncovered, until the juices are bubbling and the top is browned, about 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4.
Find more recipes like this one in our enticing collection of authentic dishes made modern, Rustic Italian, by Domenica Marchetti.