A Farewell to Summer
Never mind that summer technically lasts for 21 more days. Never mind that Starbucks already has their pumpkin spice lattes available. Never mind that it stays warm in South Carolina until freaking November. In my mind, if I can't wear white or seersucker anymore, it's not summer. The end.
And even if it doesn't feel like fall yet, the best summer produce is past its peak season. Tomatoes (my personal summer fave), peaches, squash, berries...all already on the downhill slide. And since I try to make an effort to eat seasonally, this means bidding them adieu until next July. I decided to give them a farewell sendoff with this baked Parmesan veggie spiral
The finished product.
This is, as I'm sure you've guessed, another Pinterest find. It's where I get all my best recipe ideas and all my worst craft/home decorating ideas. But I digress.
To make this lovely spiral, begin by slicing a large onion and sauteing the slices in a tablespoon of olive oil, like so:
Let the onion saute for 5-8 minutes, until they're translucent. Once they're done, add two cloves of minced garlic and saute another minute, then remove from heat and put into a greased round baking dish (I used Pyrex).
Once that's done, chop one potato, one tomato, one squash, and one zucchini into 1/4-inch thick slices. They should look something like this:
Once you've chopped all the veggies, arrange in a circle in the baking dish on top of the onion and garlic mixture (Mom, if you're reading this, just put tomatoes on half for Dad, and leave your half tomato-free. Yes, I love you). Drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 for 35 minutes, or until potatoes are relatively tender. Don't worry if your spiral is not particularly neat; here's what mine looked like before it went in the oven:
After 35 minutes, carefully remove from the oven and sprinkle liberally with Parmesan cheese. The recipe called for grated, but we only had the powdered kind, so that's what we used. Put back into the oven, uncovered this time, for 30 more minutes. We used that 30 minutes to cook up some lemon pepper salmon.
The veggies were delicious, especially the tomatoes, but not particularly flavorful. Next time we may add some Italian seasoning, more garlic, and a lot more Parmesan cheese. I would also recommend making sure as much of the surface area of the veggies as possible should be exposed to the cheese and the "browning process" of the oven. That definitely had an impact on the taste. Unfortunately, if you look at the way mine was spiraled, mostly just the edges of the veggies were exposed. I would use less veggies (or a bigger baking dish) and make sure more of the veggies got the flavor. But it's definitely a keeper, and super-healthy.
And as per normal, you can check out the original recipe here, or you can see it below with my edits.
End of Summer Baked Parmesan Veggie Spiral
1 large onion (the original recipe called for sweet yellow, but we had white onions so that's what I used)
2 cloves garlic, minced (and like yesterday's recipe, I would probably use more next time)
1-2 Russet potatoes, unpeeled (I used one)
1 yellow squash
3 large Roma tomatoes (I just used one large local beefsteak tomato)
Salt and pepper
Dried thyme to taste (I left this out, since we don't have any)
1/2 C grated Parmesan cheese (again, I used the powdered kind)
Preheat oven to 375.
Grease a baking dish (I just used a little drizzled olive oil)
Cut onion in half, then slice into thin slices. Saute with one tablespoon of olive oil for 5-8 minutes, until translucent.
Add minced garlic and saute for one minute more, until garlic is fragrant. Take off heat and put garlic and onion mixture into bottom of greased baking dish.
Slice potato, zucchini, squash and tomato into 1/4-inch thick slices.
Arrange slices in a circle in a baking dish, leaving as much of the vegetable exposed as possible.
Drizzle veggies with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste (this is where we would add the Italian seasoning, or dried thyme, or whatever you decide to use).
Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 35 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
Uncover and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake uncovered for 30 more minutes.
Eat, and enjoy - goodbye summer, but HELLO FALL!
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