Judith Winfrey is the co-owner of Love Is Love Farm at Gaia Gardens and the executive director of leadership and hospitality at Resurgens Hospitality Group, which includes Restaurant Eugene and Holeman and Finch Public House.
As a child, Winfrey never had to be coaxed to eat her vegetables. But she admits that summer squash was not her favorite. “I grew up eating it the typical Southern way—cooked to mush.” Later in life, though, her mother, Dixie, a caterer, traveled to France and learned how to master velouté (a velvety “mother sauce” made with a butter-based roux) after having it served over squash blossoms. Back home, she tried the same sauce technique over the actual squash, which she simmered just enough to retain some of its crunch. Even her squash-phobic daughter approved. Now squash is a staple in both their kitchens during the summer months.
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled, halved, and sliced
3 medium squash, sliced in ½-inch rounds
1 large heirloom tomato, cored and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper to taste
4 tablespoons grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a medium ovenproof skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook slowly for 15 to 20 minutes to caramelize them. Remove from heat; top onions with an even layer of squash slices, then with tomato slices. Season to taste with salt and pepper; sprinkle with cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, just until the squash is tender but not mushy.
Makes 4 to 6 servings.
This article originally appeared in our July 2013 issue.