Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Sticky Situation

The other day my mother-in-law gave me this homegrown squash (I have no idea what it's called, anyone have an idea?):

I often simply saute squash with some onions, garlic and a few tomatoes. The tomatoes, onions, & garlic make a flavorful sauce. However, I wasn't in the mood for sauteed squash, so I decided to experiment a bit and bake the sliced squash with some Parmesan cheese. Here is what I did:
  • I preheated the oven to 450 degrees.
  • In the meantime, I sliced the squash and rubbed it with a little olive oil and seasoned it with salt and a little pepper.
  • Next, I put some Parmesan cheese on each slice.
  • Once the oven was preheated, I put the squash in the oven for 12 minutes.
  • I turned the squash over and put cheese on the other side.
  • After another 10 minutes, the smell in the kitchen was intoxicating. It smelled like melted cheese... However, I was afraid the Parmesan cheese was forming a permanent bond with the cookie sheet...
  • I loosened each slice from the cookie sheet to make sure I could remove it later.
  • I baked the squash for another 10 minutes.
  • I topped the squash with some Tomato Almond Basil Pesto.
  • The pesto and the squash went really well together, and everyone liked the dish. :o)

What I'll do differently next time:
The biggest problem was that the cheese stuck to the cookie sheet once I turned over the slices. It didn't really affect the outcome of the dish, and in fact, having some Parmesan cheese on both sides of the squash was nice in terms of flavor! However, cleaning the cookie sheet afterward was hard work! So next time, I will only put Parmesan cheese on one side, after I have turned the squash. I will then turn up the heat a bit to make sure the cheese gets nice and golden brown.

Questions: Do you like squash? What is your favorite squash dish?

Be well,