Start by chopping all of your vegetables. I didn’t photograph all of them, assuming everyone knows what chopped onions and mushrooms look like as well as shredded carrots. The truth of why this photo is posted? I think this is a pretty picture.
I used two things in this recipe that you might not have readily on hand. The first is a basic thing you can get at the store: Arrowroot. This is thickening agent that I am told is paleo. You can also use corn starch or even a handful of panko bread crumbs. The second is from Trader Joe’s (and you can totally leave it out if you can’t get it). It’s Trader Joe’s “21 Seasoning Salute”. I really like it because it adds a little more depth of flavor with just a hint of spice. If you can’t find this, just use a Tbsp of Italian seasoning and some dried thyme.
Then you start with sauteing your onions and carrots. I let them go a little and then add in my chives and salt and pepper. I would also add the mushrooms once these are starting to get soft. I didn’t have mushrooms when I made this last night, so you won’t see them pictured.
I was using frozen spinach last night so I added it here. USUALLY I make this with fresh spinach. which I think is more fun. IF you use the fresh spinach, wait until the end to add it. Seasoned collard greens are delicious in this too.
After your veggies are just turning soft, it’s time to add the squash. I wait until later to add the squash because it softens up pretty quickly and you don’t want to over cook it and have a squishy gratin. That’s never cool.
Put the squash in and do your best to incorporate it. Season it again with more pepper and your dry seasonings. I usually will cover the pan at this point and allow the squash to steam a bit.
Then add the cream. Stir and let cook for about five minutes to heat through. Sprinkle on the arrowroot and stir until it dissolves.
Once it’s simmering (takes about 5 minutes), remove from the heat and stir in your cheese. We like it really cheesy so I always add more than the recipe calls for but you do YOU.
Here is what it looks like with the cheese stirred in and transferred to a baking dish.
Then all this is left to do is top it with fried onions. We love spice, so we usually do a combination of fried onions and fried jalapeños. Then sprinkle a little cheese in with them (optional).
This next photo is how we usually make it-completely covered with yummy goodness.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
- 2 medium yellow squash, sliced diagonally 1/4 inch thick
- 3-4 mushrooms sliced (button or cremini work well)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for coating dish
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1-2 cups cream
- 2 tablespoons Arrowroot
- 2-3 Tablespoons Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute
- 2 Tablespoons fresh thyme
- 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino/Romano
- 1/2 cup grated cheese (Use your favorite. I like Gouda or Gruyere)3 cups fresh spinach
- 1 medium clove garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
- 2 cups prepared fried onions & jalapeños if you like (French’s or whatever brand you like)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- This dish can be made and baked in a cast iron skillet or you can sauté the veggies, add the cream and cheeses and then transfer it to a casserole dish for baking.
- Over medium heat, sauté onions in the olive oil until almost translucent. Add the garlic and stir, then add in the squash, zucchini and sliced mushrooms. Season liberally with salt, pepper, thyme and Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute. Cover the dish for about 4 minutes. Stir well, then stir in the fresh spinach.
- When the spinach has wilted a bit, add the cream bringing it up to a simmer. (About 5 minutes) Stir in the arrowroot. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the cheese, reserving 1-2 Tablespoons for the top.
- Transfer to a casserole dish (optional), top with fried onions, remaining cheese and fried jalapeños (optional).
- Bake 20-25 minutes until the top is crispy, brown and bubbly.