SUMMER VEGETABLE “PANADE” CASSEROLE

Serves 6 – recipe by Courtney McDonald

Ingredients:
-1 loaf day-old crusty bread, cut into ½ inch slices
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1/4 cup unsalted butter
-2 bunches green onion, thinly sliced
-6 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-4 cups milk
-2 large meaty tomatoes, thinly sliced
-1 small zucchini, thinly sliced lengthwise
-1 small yellow squash, thinly sliced lengthwise
-1/2 cup grated mozzarella or provolone cheese
-1/4 cup grated parmesan
-salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400F. Line the bread slices on a baking sheet, brush with the olive oil and toast until lightly browned. Remove from oven, reduce the temperature to 375, and set aside.

While bread is toasting, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed medium pot over medium heat. Add the green onion and garlic and cook until fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the flour and cook another 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Whisk in the milk and season very generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Continue cooking, stirring gently, until milk is thickened completely, about 10 minutes. Remove pot
from the heat. Whisk in half of each grated cheese and set aside.

In the bottom of a large casserole dish, spoon a little of the cream sauce to coat. Add a single layer of the toasted bread slices and spoon the cream sauce over the top to cover. Add a layer of tomato slices, then a layer of zucchini and yellow squash. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper, and spoon more of the cream sauce over top. Add another layer of the bread slices, then the vegetables, always coating with the cream sauce. You should end up with two layers of bread and two layers of vegetables. Top the casserole with the remaining cream sauce, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Bake in the hot oven until heated through and bubbling around the edges, about 25 minutes. Switch the oven to broil and cook until the top of casserole is nicely browned, about 2 minutes more. Remove from the oven, let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

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