Southern summers, especially Deep South summers, bring on weather conditions that seem downright intolerable at times. But those same conditions that try our souls, bring forth a bounty of delectable produce that’s so spectacular it’s the topic of dinner conversations and published articles. It makes folks stop dead in their tracks on busy roads when they see signs for farmer’s markets. Sometimes, it causes folks to back up on busy highways if they pass the sign for farmer’s markets, but that’s another topic. Southern Summer Vegetable Casserole is a good way to use some of our summertime favorites: tomatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, fresh herbs, and Southern field peas.
- yield: 6 to 8 servings
- Layered with summer vegetable favorites, fresh herbs, and cheese. Perfect as a summer take-along. Use any variety of tomato. If using Romas, omit salting and draining them.
- 4 medium (or 2 large) tomatoes, sliced
- kosher salt
- 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 to 3 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1/2 cup cooked Southern field peas (I used zipper peas)
- 1 or 2 medium yellow squash, thinly sliced
- 1 or 2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
- 7 or 8 fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced in strips
- 4-1-1 seasoning
- 8 ounces Gruyere cheese, grated