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Summer Squash, New Potato, and Sweet Pepper Gratin

Source: The Food and Flavors of Haute Provence
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Active Time:  25 Minutes
Total Time:  1 Hour 10 Minutes
  Serves 8
This is basically a fricot of summer vegetables, but adding a polenta-based topping gives the dish an unusual texture and presentation. The squash cooks down somewhat, leaving the sweet peppers and potatoes to provide the textured bites.
2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 green, red, or yellow sweet peppers, cut into 1/2-inch squares
7 or 8 assorted small summer squashes such as crookneck, pattypan, Ronde de Nice (round zucchini), and zucchini, in any combination, about 2 pounds total, cut into small dice
3 or 4 small new potatoes, about 1 pound total, unpeeled and diced in 1/2-inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup polenta
1/4 cup fresh thyme leaves
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup milk
3 tablespoons shredded gruyere cheese
Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F.

Put 1 tablespoon of the butter and all of the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When the butter foams, add the onion, garlic, and sweet peppers, raise the heat to medium-high, and saute for 4 or 5 minutes. Add the squash and potatoes and saute for another 7 or 8 minutes, or until the vegetables have released some of their juices and the squash is nearly tender. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each of the salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Set aside.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, polenta, thyme, and the remaining 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Stir in the eggs and milk and mix well.

Using 1/2 tablespoon of the remaining butter, grease a shallow gratin or other type of baking dish. Spoon the vegetable mixture into the dish and top with the polenta mixture; it should fill almost to the rim. Bake until a crust has formed and a knife inserted into the center comes out nearly clean, about 35 to 40 minutes. Dot with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and sprinkle evenly with the Gruyere cheese. Return to the oven and continue to bake until the crust has browned slightly and the edges are bubbling and crispy, 7 to 10 minutes longer.

Serve hot or at room temperature.

Recipe reprinted by permission of Chronicle. All rights reserved.
Date Added: 01/01/2008
Nutrition Facts per Serving
Yield:   Serves 8
Calories: 224
Fat. Total: 11g
Fiber: 3g
Carbohydrates, Total: 25g
Sodium: 429mg
% Cal. from Fat: 44%
Cholesterol: 69mg
Protein: 8g
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