|Not so beautiful, but it was yummy and filling!|
My farm share really likes loading me up with summer squash so instead of the normal old bake or sauté way of cooking it (bleh, borrrring!) I decided to hunt around for something more fun. Alas! A torte! I found a great recipe from fellow food bogger Deb at Smitten Kitchen. While she said her torte wasn’t winning any beauty contests I disagree, the picture looked scrumptious and I just had to try it. Note: If she thinks her torte “isn’t winning beauty contests” mine looks like roadkill. *sigh* But anywho, it’s not about the beauty of the thing, it’s the taste.
|Layered summer squash in the pan|
Now that we have the actual "cooking/recipe/eating" portion of this post out of the way, let me tell you about the mandoline: As I mentioned, my kitchen is a little sparse when it comes to gadgets and cooking utensils. I pretty much use just one knife for every kind of cutting and chopping (*gasp*!) and occasionally my little food processor for meal prep. My trusty old knife made the task of thinly slicing 5 potatoes and 3 summer squashes pretty tedious.
After the torte was in the oven baking I decided to read some of the reviews. Silly, I know, I should have read them BEFORE cooking. But, I’m a fool. Someone asked “What’s the best way to slice the potatoes and squash if I don’t have a mandoline?”
“A mandoline?” I asked myself. “Surely this person is bonkers. I know what a mandoline is, it’s the funny little string instrument my boyfriend owns.” Yes, that is indeed a mandolin, but add an “e” and it becomes a marvelous kitchen gadget that I didn’t know about but MUST. HAVE. IMMEDIATELY! Check out this wonderful one from William Sonoma – even comes complete with a tutorial video you can watch! http://www.williams-sonoma.com/products/oxo-v-blade-mandoline/
While I enjoy slicing veggies I’m not very good at it, maybe because I fear slicing the top of my finger off and turning my meal preparations into a trip to the emergency room. I tried so very hard to slice my potatoes and squash thin like the recipe suggested – and really, for the most part I was very successful, though it took me about a half hour of slicing patience. Had I had this wonderful mandoline gadget I bet the torte would have come out even better. I am definitely putting mandoline at the top of “cooking gadgets to buy” list for when I move to a bigger apartment in 3 weeks.
PS: I am getting REALLY far behind on posts, yikes! Be on the lookout for some great recipe posts coming next week! Cheers!
Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Tort (adapted from Smitten Kitchen (adapted from Bon Apetit))
Makes 8 servings
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 tablespoons all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 pounds Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
- 12 ounces yellow crookneck squash or regular yellow summer squash, cut into 1/8-inch-thick rounds
- 6 teaspoons olive oil
- (Jill's note: I also threw some parsley in here because, you know, I had it on hand)
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Butter two 8-inch-diameter cake pans. (Jill's note: I had only a large casserole dish, so what you see in my pictures is much thicker than probably intended.) Set aside 1/4 cup sliced green onions. Toss remaining green onions, cheese, flour, thyme, salt and pepper in medium bowl to blend.
- Layer 1/6 of potatoes in concentric circles in bottom of 1 prepared pan, overlapping slightly. Layer 1/4 of squash in concentric circles atop potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Repeat with 1/6 of potatoes, then 1/4 of squash and 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture. Top with 1/6 of potatoes. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon oil. Sprinkle with 1/6 of cheese mixture and press gently to flatten. Repeat procedure with second cake pan and remaining potatoes, squash, oil, and cheese mixture. (Jill's note: If you find it confusing it might be easier to think of it like this if you're making just one pan of it. Layer like this: potatoes, squash, oil, cheese mix, potatoes, squash, oil, cheese mix, potatoes, oil, cheese mix.)
- Cover pans with foil. Bake until potatoes are almost tender, about 40 minutes. Remove foil; bake uncovered until tortes begin 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 each torte into wedges. Sprinkle wedges with 1/4 cup green onions; serve. (Jill's note: Serve with a dollop of sour cream, too, if you wish!)