summer squash gratin with salsa verde

For someone who has, at best, only moderate interest in eating all things zucchini and summer squash, this site’s archives tell different story. I mean, how about a torte, some fritters, zucchini bread or zucchini bread pancakes? Maybe a rice gratin, crisps or my favorite 5-minute side dish is more your speed? The 40-plus recipes from previous summers would make you think I jump for joy when the inevitable August glut of green and yellow piles at the Greenmarkets; instead, I approach them warily.

let's definitely never talk about the time I went all the way up to Columbia University to buy summer squash
salting the summer squash

I blame my weird need for a challenge. I find zucchini and summer squash a little… slippery and limp in most dishes. It’s usually under-seasoned. But rather than wear my failure to see what others do in a food as a badge of honor, it bothers me. I want to be proven wrong. Show me the light, crooknecks and cocozzelles!

many shallots

salt-packed capers smuggled out of rome
making salsa verde
mixed and pretty
summer squash gratin with gruyere and salsa verde

And here, to my glee, I was again shown the error of my presumptions. Summer squash is given the Suzanne Goin treatment, which is to say raised to one of its highest callings. It’s salted to help remove its moisture, then mixed with shallots, gruyere cheese, brown buttered breadcrumbs and, finally, a salsa verde (imagine a mixed-herb pesto without cheese which you should definitely make extra of because it’s good on everything) before being baked together into something that’s crunchy, complex and downright a little fancy. Tuesdays should be celebrated too, after all.

summer squash gratin with gruyere and salsa verde

A good thing to know: We tend to refer to summer squash as summer squash when it’s yellow, but as zucchini when it is green. They’re actually both summer squash and can be used interchangeably in recipes because they all taste and cook similarly. When making exchanges, use weight, of course, not number of squash as zucchini the size of bats are a real, actual thing.

One year ago: Avocado-Shrimp Salsa
Two years ago: Zucchini Rice Gratin
Three years ago: Sugar Plum Crepes with Ricotta and Honey
Four years ago: Scalloped Tomatoes with Croutons
Five years ago: Arugula Potato and Green Bean Salad and Peach and Creme Fraiche Pie
Six years ago: Nectarine Mascarpone and Gingersnap Tart
Seven years ago: Red Pepper Soup

Summer Sqaush Gratin with Gruyere and Salsa Verde
Adapted from Sunday Suppers at Lucques, one of my favorite cookbooks

This recipe is riffed from one in one of my all-time favorite cookbooks, Sunday Suppers at Lucques, though I confess that this is also the first recipe that I didn’t love exactly as written. I felt there was too much oil in the recipe (yours will have less than photographed above); the zucchini were swimming a bit. When I remade it, I streamlined the recipe a bit too from its restaurant origins. There’s something fancy about this, but in a good way, whether or not you serve it with an egg on top or the veal chops she recommends (we use lamb chops); it’s definitely more work than your average toss-and-bake weeknight dish, but there’s also miles more flavor than in my usual vegetable roast.

A few ingredient notes: As noted above, you can use zucchini or summer squash interchangeably here. You can grind 1 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs from 2 small dinner rolls or 3 slices of sandwich bread. If you’re not into anchovies, you can skip it (which will also make this a vegetarian dish), but you might want to bump up the capers a little so you don’t miss out on the salty/brininess.

Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds summer squash
1 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3/4 cup thinly sliced shallots (from 4 to 5 medium)
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
1/4 cup salsa verde (below)
Freshly ground black pepper

Salsa verde
1 tablespoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon marjoram or oregano leaves (or half, if dried)
1/4 cup coarsely chopped mint leaves
1 cup coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 small cloves garlic
1 salt-packed anchovy, rinsed and bones removed
1 tablespoon capers, drained (and rinsed, too, if salt-packed)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 lemon, or more to taste

Heat your oven to 400°F. Cut the squash into thin (1/8-inch thick) coins. Toss with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and set aside for at least 10 minutes. Drain zucchini in a colander, and if you have time, spread them on a towel for a few minutes to further wick away moisture before placing it in a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, place breadcrumbs in a small bowl. In a small skillet or saucepan, melt butter and keep cooking it over medium heat until it browns and smells nutty. Carefully pour (in a small drizzle at first) over breadcrumbs and be sure to scrape out any brown bits from the pot. Toss crumbs to evenly coat.

Make the salsa verde by blending the herbs in a food processor or blender with garlic, anchovy and capers until it forms a paste, scraping down as needed. With the machine running, stream in the olive oil in a drizzle. Season with salt and black pepper. Add lemon juice to taste.

Add shallots, gruyere, half the breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup salsa verde (about half; you can use the rest to dress eggs or any roasted meat) and some freshly ground black pepper to the bowl with the summer squash and toss. Transfer to a 9×9-inch (or equivalent; I used a 9-inch round cast-iron skillet) baking dish. Scatter remaining breadcrumbs over the top and bake 35 to 40 minutes, until the squash is tender and the crumbs are crisp.

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144 comments on summer squash gratin with salsa verde

  1. Marjoram?
    We have Comte in the fridge. I’m thinking that will work just as well as the Gruyere…

    Our bundle of joy was up before 6 this morning. Any chance Jacob wants to do a field trip to Boston for early morning book readings? Please?

  2. Gruyere makes everything delicious, and the salsa verde looks amazing! And thanks for referring to the squash in pounds, not by number, because there is always a huge difference between our farmer’s market varieties. Looking forward to trying this soon!

  3. Hi! I know that you mention omitting the anchovy and bumping up the capers to account for the loss of saltiness/brininess. However, I’m very sensitive to saltiness and capers in general. Do you know of a substitute that can bring the flavor without so much salt? Otherwise, I could just rinse REALLY well?

  4. andrea

    Wow – perfect timing. We were just gifted our neighbor’s entire squash harvest (6 yellow, 2 green) as they are out of town. I needed something to change up our grilled summer squash routine, and this totally fits the bill. Thanks!!

    1. Dara

      I think this is my 4th time making this recipe over the past three weeks. The first time, I made the mistake of using store bought breadcrumbs and misreading the salt (oops), but I had it every day for breakfast with an egg. Ever since then, I’ve used fresh breadcrumbs. And still yummy with jarred salsa verde. I have yet to make a zucchini recipe from here that I haven’t loved.

  5. Deanna

    I find restaurant cookbooks pretty consistently use a TON more oil than necessary. Sure, it might taste amazing, but I usually scale it down to a more normal amount. I’ve found the Mozza cookbook to be pretty guilty of using a lot oil too…although I think the introduction warns that they didn’t modify the oil amount even though Nancy wanted to.

  6. amy

    I hate to run out and buy anchovies OR capers for this – we don’t otherwise eat either one…but I always have fish sauce on hand. do you think that would work?

    1. deb

      amy — You can definitely tweak it in any way that you’d like. Just start with a dash and see if you like where it is going.

      Diane — You can rinse them really well. Definitely don’t buy salt-packed capers, which are of course saltier.

      Molly — Comte, definitely a good swap. What is UP with the kids waking up early all summer? We had one freak day on Monday with a 7:55 (!!!) wakeup because he was so exhausted from our weekend vacation but otherwise, it’s been all 6s. At least at almost-5 (and in a small apartment so we could hear trouble brewing if needed), he mostly fends for himself in the morning for a bit. Today, he went in the fridge, got a yogurt, got a spoon from the drawer and “made” his own breakfast.

  7. Oh, for heaven’s sake, is it really this easy? Loved the torte from last year, but glad to have something w/out the potatoes. Question on the salting/draining: am I salting, tossing, then letting drain in the colander, and then drying off on towel? Little confused about the setting aside, then draining bit.

    And now, off to look up that rice recipe ;-)

    1. deb

      Alison — Yes. It’s a lot, I realize! But it’s not hard work. FWIW, Goin only recommends draining it. The first time I made this, I had them in the colander for a long time (slow cook, here) and it was great. The second time, I only drained it for a few minutes and the torte still felt wet to me. So, I’m suggesting the towels too. It’s quick.

  8. I did a great summer squash gratin a few weeks ago, but mine was the lazy version. Just sliced seasoned squash in a casserole dish, topped with breadcrumbs, rosemary, and a little parmesan reggiano, and baked.
    This version looks like the older, much cooler cousin, and completely delicious.

  9. Zoe

    This looks so perfect. Just bought too many capers to know what to do with and I love Gruyère in any/everything. The yellow squash are growing happily in the garden. Can’t wait to make this when they are ready (:

  10. Don’t forgot the Summer-Squash Soup with Parsley-Mint Pistou in the archives, which is sort of like the soup version of this casserole dish (and one of my favorite summer soups btw). Glad you’re valiantly fighting your summer squash hate, because we love it over here, and love new recipes.

  11. I’m the person who wants anchovies on her pizza, and I snatch them off of people’s Caesar salads and plop them on garlic bread. Pasta Puttanesca is an absolute fave, so I feel the same about capers. Perfect recipe for me. Thanks mucho.

  12. ck

    The salsa verde looks amazing! But also looks like an awful lot of small amounts of different fresh herbs that I didn’t grow this year! Any thoughts on substitutions for the marjoram/oregano or thyme? What about eschewing them entirely?

    1. deb

      ck — I agree, it’s a lot of herbs for someone without an herb garden at their backyard disposal! Use the ones you like. :)

      Allison — I just season the bejeezus out of them with salt and pepper and brown them well on both sides in a cast-iron skillet. If they need more time after that (these tiny Frenched ones never do), you can pop them in a 450 degree oven for a few minutes. I finished them with squeeze of lemon juice and dabbed a bit of salsa verde on each. We are not always this fancy on weeknights. I was having a moment.

  13. Allison

    I made the kale and wild rice gratin from your cookbook last week, substituting yellow squash for the kale and red rice for the wild rice, it was super! Looking forward to trying this one as I have more squash (don’t we all at this point?) and I love salsa verde on all kinds of veg!

  14. Katie

    I recently made this recipe from the book and loved it! I only used 1/4 cup of olive oil when making the salsa verde. I think SG’s recipe called for 3/4 cup. Anchovies definitely added a great taste, even if I was hesitant to use.

  15. Grace

    Diane @ Vintage Zest: I’ve found a good sub for anchovies (or capers) is diced sun dried tomatoes. They are pretty salty, but they are chewy and have a bit of umame (protein) flavor. You could soak them first to get rid of some of the saltiness if you find them too salty. But, even without soaking, I think they’re less salty than anchovies.

  16. siobhan

    Looks absolutely crunch-licious! One thing: I know you said you cut back on the olive oil, but it seems to have vanished altogether (perhaps like the vermouth in the famous “extra-dry” martini recipe?).

  17. Jen

    I just made a very very similar gratin to this over the weekend — I used homemade pesto in lieu of the salsa verde and added thinly sliced potatoes; everything else stayed the same as above (brown butter breadcrumbs, gruyere, shallots, squash). It was great to have a fairly quick and deeply satisfying “comfort food” in the middle of July. :)

    1. deb

      Whoops! Olive oil now added. I used 1/2 cup. Goin recommended 3/4 cup, but we felt that it was too high a proportion of oil to get any flavor impact from the herbs.

      Shannon — I saw their version, I actually meant to mention that the hot pepper might be nice here. Will update.

  18. Shannon

    I first made this a couple years ago when it was featured on food52 and didn’t realize until several months later that it came from one of the most beloved yet intimidating members of my cookbook collection.

  19. Brittany W.

    Is the mint flavor strong? I like mint, but my husband doesn’t, so I can leave it out, but will add some if it adds depth to the dish without being overpowering. Thanks!

  20. Julie

    Hi Deb, I love collecting cookbooks, but my favorites are those with nice photography – does Sunday Suppers at Lucques have pics? Also was wondering what your thoughts were on Alice Waters cookbooks – any you would recommend?
    Thank you!

  21. I love it! I’ve been having a blast this summer with zucchini and summer squash. They are local and in season, which means they are quite inexpensive. I would suggest anyone to go for it, and try as many recipes as possible.

  22. irma

    we’ve been eating zucchini all summer, every week – i know what you mean! my mother in law started coming up with her own recipes, like zucchini soup with curry :) tastes great!
    im excited about the salsa verde. i have three different types of oregano (i think one is thyme) and mint in my garden so I will definitely try this recipe.
    how long do you think the salsa will keep in the refrigerator? any recommendations for what to use it with; salads and pasta maybe?

  23. RT Boyce

    My family-beloved, weeknight-go-to summer squash recipe is pretty simple: 3 zucchini slivered, 3 cobs raw sweet corn cut off the cob, half a bunch of green onion chopped; stir-fry the veggies in a tablespoon of olive oil over med-high heat for 5-10 minutes; add salt and pepper. Ah, summer is here. And everyone will say it tastes like you used butter. Vary by adding fresh or dry herbs (not too much) to suit your main dish.

  24. Victoria

    I love all these courgette recipes! Our garden is bursting with them and I LOVE something more to do with them! As an 18 yr old who has been priming herself for college life I must say that every recipe from you is prefect! My mom is an amazing cook and has brought me up with home cooking but your blog has given me some edge, ie making pasta for me is now a weeknight dinner thing and pies? the peach (with a 5oz flour 3oz butter crust) gets requested at gatherings. Thank You!!

  25. LeslieKV

    Deb, any idea how this will hold up for a potluck if constructed ahead of time? I envision making it up to the point where it gets baked, chilling it, then baking it five hours later in the host’s kitchen. Thanks!

    1. deb

      LeslieKV — I think it would be just fine. I might keep the breadcrumbs for the top on the side until right before baking, just to make sure they don’t absorb too much moisture to crisp.

  26. JP

    Had to laugh when I imagined the “zucchini bats” flying off to the belfry. But it was only a thought, because many a time we missed zucchini out in my grandma’s zucchini patch and they honestly do grow almost as big as a baseball bat (and a lot fatter!). The recipe looks very tasty. Thank you for a new one for a very prolific veg.

  27. Made a simplified version (read: skipped the shallots) of this tonight using the herbs I had on hand: basil, mint and parsley. I had one medium-sized zucchini so I scaled back the rest of the ingredients to fit. The end result was terrific, thank you.The comte works. I may have eaten it directly from the pan for dinner — I did share a few discs with Lilli as part of her dinner.

    I have to go to bed now since I’ll probably have a 5AM wake up.

  28. Dayna

    I’ve harvested a TON of zucchini from my garden (and one zuc so big that I’ve already made four loaves of bread from it and I have plenty left!) so I am def. going to give this recipe a shot. It’ll be a nice change from all the zucchini bread!! :-P

  29. I am always attracted to your courgette recipes! I made your fried courgette and pasta recipe a few weeks back and it was absolutely delicious. This looks equally as divine, I think it has already made it onto my shopping list for next week! x

  30. Good morning! Maybe someone else has mentioned this, but this morning when I clicked my email link, I was immediately hijacked by a 30 sec. ad about “Cover Girl Drops Ellen”. I thought you wanted to know this, but maybe not??

    Your creativity with zucchini apparently knows no bounds!! :)

  31. Katie C.

    For anyone that doesn’t want to buy a whole container of anchovies, you can get anchovy paste in a tube just like the tomato paste! It works for me. We have six squash plants with lots of blossoms but only one measly zucchini so far. I had to get mine at the farmers’ market. I think I will try to make this tonight – thanks!

    BTW, congrats on starting a second book.

  32. Pippa

    Looks great! I love zucchini, and have about 10 plants in my garden! (some are fruiting now and others will give more later, so a steady supply). I pickle them a lot, which we love, also this is a great Nigel Slater recipe: (zucchini and feta cakes, from the Kitchen Diaries 1. Have a good fresh tomato salad or salsa with them). A savoury courgette tarte (could be a galette) with lots of basil is also yum – I don’t have a recipe though. Over to you, Deb!

    1. deb

      Teri — I did not, but this means that you might not need to add any additional salt to the dish. If you’re sensitive to salt, you can rinse the wilted squash.

  33. Christine

    It’s funny, I always say zucchini and summer squash are my least favorite vegetables, but they’re so ubiquitous and usually fast to make I always end up buying some. Plus, the husband and baby eat them without complaint. Now I know what I’m making the next time it is cool enough to turn on my oven.

  34. Michele

    I suppose this is a better use of anchovies than simply eating them out of the can…this looks divine, and I love anchovies, and there’s a weird glut of jars of capers at my house…perfect!!

  35. Linda Lawson

    Made this last night and it was superb. No changes whatsover. I may slice the squash a little thicker next time though as they were kinda squishy.

  36. I haven’t made this dish yet, but squash, cucumber and especially eggplant (for any recipe) taste much better after salting and draining. For caponata, for example, I cube the eggplant, sprinkle with kosher salt and let stand for hours to extract the liquid. No need to weight the eggplant, and no need to rinse before cooking.

  37. christiane

    hey deb, i just want to thank you for alllll of the delicious things i have made from your blog! last night it was this dish, i have made the pickled cucumbers, i love your coleslaw, hell, i even made the wedding cake for my sister (and for myself after that!). i love having a reliable steady source of great new recipes and i like your writing a lot too..
    not to scare you or anything, my son is the same age as yours and you can guess his name :) but that WAS a coincidence!
    Thank you for all the work you put into this!

  38. I’m in the love/hate camp on summer squash. My grandmother made squash casseroles in my youth which still make me shudder to remember them — mushy and virtually flavorless, squash became the bane of my childhood. Now, I make squash with regularity, taking care not to cook them to mushy oblivion (lest my better half howl). This rendition makes me want to revisit the casserole. And of course, anything is good with gruyere. The salsa verde would brighten the flavors too, right?

  39. Ooo with so much summer squash coming in these days (and sitting sad and lonely in the bottom of my fridge, like the last kid picked for Red Rover), I’m excited to try this dish. The Salsa Verde looks wonderful, as well. I think I might also try it served with a wood-fired whole fish for a gourmet camping experience! Thank you, Deb!

  40. JP

    You might be interested to know that Cook’s Illustrated suggests that you put a piece of very lightly toasted (maybe rather just dried in the toaster) sandwich bread (cut up to make 1/2 cup and then ground with the rest of the ingredients) into the salsa verde to keep it from separating. Seems like a good idea.

  41. Stephanie

    This was a wonderful use of my CSA and garden veg! Thank you for such an incredible recipe!

    Used 3 squash–one green, one yellow, one yellow pattypan–and leeks we’d gotten in our share. The salsa verde was a lot of parsley (CSA) + garden-grown mint, savory, oregano and garlic scapes. I couldn’t find that last lemon I thought was in my fridge, so I used preserved lemon (i.e. the organic lemon rinds I pack in sea salt and leave in a jar on my counter) and the juice of 1/4 of an orange.

  42. Heather

    what’s the approximate equivalent weight for one cup of grated gruyere? 2 ounces? 4 ounces? just trying to figure out how much to get (without getting too too much, not that getting too much is a bad thing…).

  43. Laura

    I tried this as I am always looking for a way to use up squash. I didn’t feel like making the green sauce, so I substituted home-made pesto I had frozen, and it turned out pretty well. Obviously not the same flavor. 4 oz block cheese should work about right, Heather.

  44. Liz

    Yummy! I made this Saturday night to fancy up what was otherwise going to be a pretty usual summer dinner (accompanying grilled chicken breasts and a green salad). This came out delicious – cheesy and crunchy and herbaceous. Not to mention that it looked extra elaborate presented in the case iron skillet.

    Also, I turned out great even though I, ahem, failed to read properly the recipe for the salsa verde and just dumped everything in the blender at once, including the olive oil. Whoops. Still worked! And the salsa verde is a new favorite – Husband now wants to put it on every food.

    I was confused about the quantity of shallots? You suggested 4-5 shallots to get 3/4 of a cup… I used only one and was almost there. Are our shallots radically different sizes?

    1. deb

      Liz — They might be. I bought shallots at the market last week that were each the size of a garlic clove (and not elephant garlic, either) and I’ve also bought ones that size of plums. It’s hard to estimate amounts. I thought what I’d used were medium for U.S. grocery stores. (They’re definitely smaller in Europe. Like everything else.)

    1. deb

      Gail — Sorry you found them to be too much. What kind of breadcrumbs did you use? I wonder if it relates. (I used fresh ones, which tend to be coarse a loose, thus it’s much less in weight than you might get from packaged crumbs.)

  45. Tia

    This was amazing with a fried egg on top! Also, I had leftover breadcrumbs mixed with crushed sea salt jalapeño chips so I skipped the anchovies and capers, and the extra kick was amazing. Not exactly very French but very delicious nonetheless.

  46. Lynne

    deb- i make quite a few recipes from your site and i never comment but i thought i would on this one because it’s fantastic. my fav is your chard and white bean stew which we eat almost all winter. this easily qualifies for a must make summer dish. I followed the recipe/weights exactly and i couldn’t be more pleased. thanks and much continued success to your cooking efforts and keeping up with the almost 5-year old who’s now “making” his own breakfast!

  47. Kayte

    Tried this last night and it was the perfect buttered breadcrumbs vehicle. Had it with skirt steak and the salsa verde was an awesome chimichurri for my mediocre-ly cooked meet! Thanks so much!

  48. Mara

    Oh, so flexible! No anchovy, more basil than parsley, grating cheese that was on hand in place of gruyere, random CSA veg like peeled broccoli stem and a wee fennel bulb that I couldn’t do anything else with, kinda off the cuff and still so delicious! I tucked little cherry toms into the top for their color and prettiness. The salting was key, of course, I even squeezed extra moisture out of the squash with my hands. Can’t wait for next week’s CSA squash.

  49. Liz

    Deb – thanks for the clarifications on the shallots! Mine was 2/3 the size of a white onion, so much bigger than yours. I never knew mileage varies so much on shallots!

    The other adventure I had in grocery shopping was that the produce section of the store I stopped at had no scales, so I was guessing wildly on how many squash to buy. When I got home, I realized I had way too many and saved a bunch of them. After I made this on Saturday night, we liked it so much I gave the same treatment to the remaining squashes on Monday night and we loved it again, even though I was now out of shallot (or any other onion) and my blender decided to be stupid and refuse to puree the salsa properly. Still delicious.

    Oh, and I even cheated on breadcrumbs: just used store-bought panko. I bet this is even tastier when made by a person less lazy than me who makes her own crumbs.

    I think this is now in my top-5 favorites of your recipes! Thank you!

  50. lisa

    Because I didn’t feel like going to the store but had to make the I used pesto instead of the salsa Verde (although I do love it) and Fatima instead of the gutters! Wonderful! My husband finished his plate then came back with a big bowl of this. Thanks so much Deb. Keep them coming:)

  51. pb

    I made this and while it was ok I didn’t find it to be a standout – I would not make it again (the leftovers were even more mediocre than the original dish). There are better squash recipes. Having said that, I am a devoted Smitten Kitchen follower and this doesn’t change that (one dud out of many, many stellar recipes).

  52. Liz

    Help!! I really want to make this for a date, but I can’t figure out a good main dish to go with it? The boy likes meat; I only cook white meat, no fish… Does anyone have ideas on a good chicken dish to pair with this? Thank you!

  53. Ashley

    Oh, and notes for others: Gruyere was too spendy at our store, and I found Jarlsberg worked just fine (though Gruyere WOULD have been optimal.) Went with half a yellow onion instead of a shallot, because I only had enough shallot for the potato salad and thought it would be more vital there (and the onion was fine in this dish.) And like Liz, I, too, used Panko for similar reasons of laziness and thought it was just fine (I do think regular storebought breadcrumbs would NOT have worked well enough, however, and definitely recommend Panko as a lazy sub instead.) Everything else I did as per your direction — I HIGHLY recommend not forgoing the anchovy (but, then again, I love all things briny.)

  54. Liz

    Deb – Thank you so much, but by white meat I mean poultry! I’ve never cooked pork or sausage in my life… :( Do you have any chicken or turkey ideas?

  55. Liz

    @ (other) Liz:

    We had it with grilled chicken breasts, which we pounded out with a mallet, then brined in salty water for 10-20 minutes, then peppered. Nothing fancy but I thought it made the veggies the star!

  56. Wendy

    Made this for dinner this evening with the first zucchini from the garden which weighed in at 2.4 lbs. Could not find mint at the store in any form so I added an extra 1/4 cup of parsley to make up for the lack of bulk from the mint and added a little mint extract for the flavor. My husband said “It was worth your work and you would never know you were eating zucchini.” I have enough salsa Verde and Gruyere for another recipe so as soon as the zucchini grows enough – one or two days at the most – I’ll make this again. Thanks for another great recipe.

  57. Patty Cucman

    Well my oh my but this is good. I thought I had gruyere but someone must have eaten it so I used fresh Mexican queso – dry and salty. It was very good. Herbs came from my garden. Served it for lunch with a salad. It was perfect.

  58. Liv

    I can’t believe there aren’t more comments because this was an amazing recipe!! I made a few changes because my grocery store is very limited–I used curly parsley, skipped the thyme, used Swiss instead of Gruyere, and used half a yellow onion instead of shallots. Even with all of those changes, this was the best dinner I’ve made in awhile-so flavorful!! I can only imagine how delicious it is if you follow the recipe exactly.

  59. Megan

    This was really good, thank you! We didn’t get around to eating it until it was room temp, still delicious. I made it in a saute pan that’s probably 12″ in diameter and it worked out great.

    1. deb

      meredith — Ha! That’s been bothering me for weeks, the differences between the two. We need a better naming system! (But I hardly think that would be bad here; I might just use a sharper cheese, add some taco-type spices — cumin, paprika, coriander — and just dollop the tomatillo salsa on as you serve it.)

  60. Finally caught up on a month’s worth of your posts. Lovely little Monday evening treat. This is on the short list for weeknight dinner, along with the Julia Child zucchini tian I just discovered on Food52.

  61. April

    I’ve made this a few times now but substituted parmesan for the gruyere (because we like that better and tend to have LOTS of parmesan on hand) and even though the parmesan is dryer, it’s always turned out really well. I also made it once and included rounds of sausage which made it more a one dish meal. Thanks for the yummy recipes!

  62. Renee Person

    Deb – I’ve made this many times since you posted it and my large family has thoroughly enjoyed it on its own. We eventually made this a one-dish meal by saving out 1/2 of the bread-crumb/salsa mixture, pouring a homemade creamy macaroni and cheese over the top and sprinkling on the rest of the breadcrumbs. After baking it up it was devoured by the happy clan. It’s now part of the regular Sunday dinner rotation.

  63. Ritu H Pandulla

    This sounds delish. Can’t wait to try it. Wondering if someone has tried salsa verde without the anchovies? My husband hates anchovies and I am wondering if omitting them will compromise the flavor of the dish.

  64. Athina

    This gratin is in the oven right now as we speak-let me just tell you- the aroma itself is reason enough to make this-and I mean it. It has an amazing savory aroma-and I know this is going to be scrumptious. I will, of course, return back to update my comment, but boy oh boy, this smells heavenly!!!

  65. Athina

    ok, well here it goes….I had my first serving, with a fried egg on top-kind of a mistake, as it destroyed the wonderful crispiness on top that we created for a reason! My second serving was at room temp, sans egg, and wow!!! there is a wonderful complexity and many layers of flavor here. (I would guess that the umami factor is very high here).The crispy buttery topping, the background notes of the herbs, the hint of anchovy and lemon, and then the cheese of course. The squash is really just a vehicle here.There really is no (discernable) flavor in squash. I drained mine well, wrapped it in a towel to soak up the moisture, and nonetheless, it was still rather “juicy”-delicious anyways…can’t wait to bring leftovers to work tomorrow.When I heat it up no doubt, one of my coworkers will say, “mmmm…that smells really good, what is that?”

  66. Just made this for a dinner party, cutting back on the squash a bit and adding some fresh corn kernels cut from the cob and some sliced cherry tomatoes that I also salted. I only had mint, parsley and dried oregano for the salsa verde and used panko. Was a huge hit. Drying out the squash is key. Thank you, Deb for this recipe!

  67. Laura W.

    This freezes beautifully! After a 45ish minute thaw, it was just 20 minutes in a 420 oven covered in foil (I got a little aggressive with the browning before I froze and didn’t want to brown the top any more) until we had 2/3 of dinner made with extremely little effort. The once-frozen dish was was indistinguishable from a fresh-made version.

  68. Alex

    Made this tonight and it was lovely! Minor changes I’d make next time – maybe less breadcrumbs (though mine were store bought and very fine so the measurement was off) and I wouldn’t toss throughout the mixture – I’d just put on top. I’d also add some red pepper flakes to the squash/shallot mixture and maybe up the cheese a bit (I used comte instead of gruyere and it was fab!).

  69. Mary

    So, to say “I made this” would be quite generate and a bit inaccurate! I used the recipe as a guide, with numerous substitutions necessary to crank out dinner before 8:00pm with what was on hand. The end result, however, was delicious! Here are the funky deviations: in addition to the squash coins, I used some leftover grated zucchini from 5 days ago (from SK bread- also good!), broke up 3 brown rice cakes in lieu of breadcrumbs (… and I really liked this change!), used dried herbs excluding the parsley (and I only had about 1/2 cup in the garden and forgot to augment with dried), no anchovies, used 1/2 white cheddar and 1/2 Romano, onions instead of shallots, reduced to oil to 1/3 cup (only because I grabbed the wrong dry measuring cup!) and accidentally dumped all the salsa into the mix. It was on the oily side (ahem, see last error), but overall a great template recipe.

    1. Christine

      You shouldn’t have posted your recipe here, but you acknowledged that. This is for people who actually made Deb’s recipe.

  70. Ashby

    This is fabulous, and way richer than summer squash has any right to be. I doubled the recipe but made it in a deeper, 10″ diameter dutch oven, so it took 90 minutes to cook. This was great because I wanted it to be very very soft and very very brown. The result was amazing.

    I didn’t have the recommended salsa verde ingredients so I used the formula but swapped chard for the parsley and mixed the herbs up a bit, and used extra capers instead of the anchovy.

  71. Fiona Flower

    You are reading my mind! I am – yet again – up to my armpits in home grown courgettes (UK style!) and struggle to come up with new recipes. I loved your zucchini and rice gratin last week, and plan to whip up this one tonight. I can tell it’ll be a winner – it has all the right stuff in.
    Last year, it was courgette relish and courgette bhajis – I love my annual challenge…

  72. Katia

    I love all your recipes – they never ever fail me. Was very exicted to try this one and we were not disappointed. I only had 1 cup of breadcrumbs (and no time to make more) so I reduced the butter to 2 tbsp. I didn’t make any other changes. The dish was amazing! Even my meat-loving husband ate two huge portions with country bread. Can’t wait to have the leftovers.
    Do you think we could recreate it with potatoes? I imagine the baking time would be longer, but flavor-wise, it doesn’t seem like much would need to change. Thanks for another great recipe!

  73. Jayne Niemi

    Wow. Made this last night and it was super good! We don’t do mint around here, so it was a basil salsa verde, and anchovy paste had to do. Magnificent results. I think the spousal unit told me four or five times, unsolicited, how good it was. It was our main dish. Could easily see it accompanying grilled chops. Can hardly wait.

  74. Sandy Bloomer

    What kind of mandoline do you use when slicing, cannot decide which one to buy. This recipe is going to be a must for summer. By the way, your raspberry cake was a family hit, so good, thanks 😘

  75. Mia T

    Sounds delish! I think your ‘salsa verde’ could be closer to a pesto, so a homemade or purchased pesto could easily be substituted. Even the capers could still be included, but I’d leave out the anchovy if using a basil or spinach pesto. If not wanting too much salt from capers/ anchovies, I’d suggest adding Worcestershire sauce (still salty, so use sparingly) for flavor along with any fresh or dried herbs such as thyme, rosemary, basil, or even a bit of fresh sage. Be creative! I think the gruyere, shallots and breadcrumb topping would be the mainstay ingredients for this zucchini recipe.

  76. Jessica A

    I made this the other night and loved it. It was cozy but not too heavy and full of flavor. Huge crowd pleaser. I was a little suspicious of the salsa verde but it’s perfect, and the leftovers are idyllic on eggs.

    I made a handful of tiny tweaks, mostly out of circumstance:

    1. I added a handful/two of kale, cooked down slightly on a med-low heat pan after removing from the stalk (because I didn’t have enough squash)
    2. I used parm instead of gruyere (because I had parm in the fridge)
    3. Three slices of whole wheat bread for the breadcrumbs (because summer bod?)
    4. Added another generous dash of parm on top with the breadcrumbs (because of course)
    5. Cooked it in a Dutch Oven (because I don’t own a cast-iron mostly because I’m intimidated by seasoning it)
    6. No anchovy (because it freaks me out)

    It was a delight. My only complaint is because we loved it so much, there were no leftovers. Will make more next time!

  77. This is probably my favorite recipe on the site. I’ve made it three or four times, but without the parsley, anchovies, and capers. It is absolutely delicious. You must try it!

  78. Ruthan

    Came by for the salsa verde, remembering it would be a pleasant way to dispose of the inevitable glut of parsley one experiences when one needs 1 tablespoon and must purchase an enormous bundle, and it turns out I have you to thank for the “you need to dry out your spongy nightshades” idea. THANK YOU. I have blown many a mind by oiling and grilling planks of salt-dried veg!

  79. Tamra

    After the quarantine stupor wore off, I was in need of something interesting and exciting to bring to the table. My fiance is a very picky eater but he likes squash and cheese! This dish was surprisingly easy to put together and tasted so great. I didn’t really measure the mint and parsley, and used dried oregano and thyme. The breadcrumbs might be my favorite part about this, other than the wonderful flavor that comes from the summer squash. My picky-eater fiance may even let me make it again, even after telling him about the anchovies! Thank you :)

  80. Katherine

    I was wondering if you could use a pesto instead of the salsa verde? I’m not a big fan of either anchovies or capers. Sorry if someone already asked.

  81. Em

    I adapted this wildly and it still turned out incredible. Skewed the proportions, as I’m cooking for one (used an 8″ cast iron pan); used half zucchini and half cabbage; subbed parm for gruyere; subbed the two tiny scallions I had lying around for the shallots; got lazy with the salsa verde and just threw most of the ingredients, minced, into the veggies; changed up the herbs; tossed repeatedly and only added the (half-cornbread — so delicious) breadcrumbs at the end because they were already plenty toasty. All that, and still delicious.

    The main revelation, though, and I cannot recommend this enough was MAKE GHEE. Make ghee, save the browned butter solids, and use them (otherwise discarded!) (!!) to toast the breadcrumbs. Brown butter, intensified! And you’ll be grateful to have the ghee for your next weekend breakfast.

  82. Natalia

    I loved this during the summer with my over abundance of squash. My freezer is currently full of bags of frozen sliced squash from the summer harvest. Do you think they would work in this? Any suggestions for adjusting? Plan to use kale pesto I’ve got in the freezer as well

  83. kathryn eastburn

    I have a small jar of leftover chimichurri (homemade) in the fridge. Can I substitute it for salsa verde? Or add parsley, capers and mint to the chimichurri in the food processor, then use?