What became increasingly apparent as The.Boy. and I packed up every inch of my apartment this weekend, leaving no corner unturned and no book shelf unemptied.  Is that I am a hoarder.

And it’s not even the usual kind of hoarding where you keep buying things you don’t need and shoving them into corners until you end up on A&E.

(No comments from the peanut gallery on my extensive cookbook collection.  That is an addiction.  Totally different kind of disease.)

(And for the record, I sleep with them under my pillow out of sheer love and affection and not because that’s the only place they’ll fit now that they’ve run me out of house and home.

So there.)



What was I saying?  Oh, yes.

I’m a bizarro world hoarder.  The type of hoarder who, rather than spending her money on frivolous things, instead chooses to throw it all over her apartment so that when she moves after three years of living there she’ll find quarters, nickels, dimes and (ugh) pennies lurking in every (disgustingly dusty) corner.

If I had babies, this place would be a choking hazard waiting to happen.


On the bright side, I’m now one third of a Kashi GoLean oatmeal box filled with coins richer!!

AND to top it all off my boyfriend didn’t run away screaming when he discovered just how psychologically unfit I am!  Instead, he watched patiently as I lovingly caressed each cookbook before putting it into it’s new shelf and calmed me down when I freaked out because twenty of them DON’T FIT and so I had to put them ON THE FLOOR until a newer and larger bookshelf arrives next week.

That last part was probably one of the more anxious moments of my life.  Especially since one of the floor-bound cookbooks was Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Julia most certainly rolled in her grave.  I most certainly might have cried a little.  The.Boy. most certainly for a second wished he were dating someone who wasn’t so emotionally attached to (very heavy) inanimate objects.

That is, until I made this gratin.  Gruyere, browned butter, pesto, summer squash.

It’s the perfect penance for just about all of your moving day sins.  Or if you have an overabundance of summer squash that’s about ready to rot in your fridge.  Or both.


Summer Squash Gratin
Serves 8 as a side dish, adapted from 101 Cookbooks


  • 1 1/2 lb summer squash, sliced very thinly
  • 1/2 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 2 cups fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 lb waxy potatoes, sliced very thinly
  • 3/4 cup grated gruyere


  1. Preheat the oven to 400.
  2. Place the zucchini/summer squash slices in a colander in the sink and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp sea salt. Toss to combine.  Let drain for 10-15 minutes.
  3. While the summer squash is draining, puree the oregano, parsley, garlic, 1/4 tsp sea salt, red pepper flakes and olive oil in a food processor.  Set aside.
  4. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Let cook until it turns brown and starts to smell nutty.  Wait two minutes and then stir the breadcrumbs into the browned butter.
  5. Transfer the squash to a large mixing bowl.  Toss with the potatoes, oregano sauce, half the breadcrumbs and gruyere.  Toss until well combined.  Taste the a slice of the summer squash for seasoning.
  6. Pour into a gratin dish and top with the remaining breadcrumbs.  Bake for 40-50 minutes.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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72 Responses to Summer Squash Gratin

  1. This is mouthwatering! You didn’t move out of the city, did you? Not sure if you got my comment that I wrote you on my blog, but I couldn’t read your blog for like a week…the format was all screwy for me.

  2. RecipeGirl says:

    This looks awesome. the kind of thing I could totally just eat all by itself for dinner!

  3. MS3 says:

    What’s all the packin for? Are you moving?

  4. Simply Life says:

    haha, I’d love to see that cookbook collection! Can’t think of a better way to enjoy summer squash!

  5. Perfect way to eat summer squash!! I have so many cookbooks too – and that became apparent during my recent move. So. Many. Hope getting settled in your new place is going well! 🙂

  6. HAHAHAHA! I can relate… big time! Sadly, cookbooks are heavy. They do not move well. Only a portion are coming with me to Texas. I can hold off with blogs for a year, right? 😉 Moving is fun, too, because you discover hidden gems… packing is so slow for me because I end up reading through all the forgotten recipes! 🙂

  7. This could get me through moving for sure!

  8. Saguna says:

    This gratin looks so good… Gruyere cheese, yes please. Coin hoarding seems a smart AND psychologically-sound habit to me- I mean, you’re TOTALLY budgeting penny by penny 🙂

  9. Karis Ann says:

    Your timing is perfect! I have summer squash begging to be cooked in my fridge, I just bought Gruyere and I finally mastered my mandoline without slicing anything off.

  10. OohLookBel says:

    How delicious, the more breadcrumbs the better, too. Hope your new bookshelf can hold the weight of your obsession =)

  11. Faith says:

    Lol, I’m a cookbook hoarder too and I completely understand your feelings on Mastering the Art of French Cooking. 😉 I cannot wait to make this, it looks like the perfect summer dinner!

  12. So glad your move is over! What made you switch apartments in the same building?

    This squash dish sounds so yummy 🙂

  13. Oh your bookcase ordeal sounds like one I’ve just had as well…and I most certainly cried a little too while the boyfriend tried to calm me down. It wasn’t cookbooks I was trying to fit though, they were glass bottles – I was reorganising my food props onto an Ikea bought bookcase, but for some reason it was missing holes to put the shelves!!! I was furious and totally upset. The boyfriend did drill some holes for me, but not enough to move them around so I could fit the bottles. 🙁 Currently they are just lying down…

  14. Shannon says:

    oh boy, i spent a lot of time going thru my stuff and packing this weekend, too… i’m an organized hoarder, I found out. ha. the stuff i had from when i was a kid, oh boy. Hoping my boy helps me pare down in the new place 😉 in the mean time, I hope i have enough kitchen tools out to make this, it looks fantastic!!

  15. Katie says:

    He sounds like a keeper. I like the ones that watch kindly and don’t criticize. I’m sure if you feed him dishes like this, it helps. I’m not a huge summer squash fan, so I’m always looking for creative ways to cook it.

  16. Danielle says:

    I wan this tonight looks and sounds fabulous!

  17. Marcia says:

    Totally going to make this with all my summer squash from the farm!

  18. Amy says:

    I hoard kitchen utensils and gadgets. But, um, doesn’t everyone need 4 apple corers? I wish I would find money when I clean…but, alas, it’s always the same ‘ol dog hair. And p.s. the bookshelves not fitting together would send me searching for a brown paper bag to breath into or valium. Definitely.

  19. Ooooo, a new bookcase! Lucky you! Enjoy your new home. Moving is a great way to remember cookbooks you may have forgotten. And this dish looks wonderful. Can’t wait to try it!

  20. Deborah says:

    Just think – all of those coins can go towards your new bookcase! This gratin looks amazing!

  21. elly says:

    New bookcases are basically the best thing ever. Scratch that. Full bookcases are basically the best/most beautiful thing ever. 🙂 This gratin looks awesome and I also have it saved from Heidi (big surprise). Hopefully I get to make it soon!

  22. HAHAHA! That’s too funny… I am messy, but not dirty. And in reality, I hate clutter. It bothers me terribly… but sometimes it’s unavoidable.

    Love this gratin! What a great way to use summer veggies!

  23. This looks wonderful. I love summer vegetable gratins, except I hate turning on the oven. It’s quite a dilemma for me every year…

  24. Totally gorgeous, Joanne! I love gratins, especially with in-season produce. These squash look amazing!

  25. As much as I dread moving, seeing your stuff in a new locale and a different light is always refreshing! Sounds like you made it through alright. And what a way to celebrate – gorgeous gratin!

  26. Cara says:

    Ohh, this looks so good, perfect for the fresh local squash that are just cropping up around here!

  27. I love gratins Joanne, I am bookmarking this for when my zucchini plants are overflowing!

    I am one of those freaks who actually likes to move and re-organize everything every couple of years. Drives my hubs crazy!

  28. Roz says:

    Oh my gosh, gruyere! That’s genius! Can’t wait to pick for some zukes and squash. Thank God I’m not the only one with the cookbook addiction/disease. When I first moved from L.A. to the east coast, I gave over 100 cookbooks to friends to downsize. For some reason, I now have 500 cookbooks and they’re in every bookshelf and in stacks on the floor. I’d feel right at home in your place!!!

  29. Lynn says:

    I love gruyere cheese. I’ll add this to the collection of “planning to make.” I have a zillion cookbooks, too. I’m trying to stop. 🙂

  30. Eileen says:

    Hey, money is money! If I could find half a container of change just from cleaning out my house, I’d be pretty happy. And the cookbook collection–that one is always totally justified. 🙂 Your gratin sounds perfect for summer–especially with all the zucchini exploding all over the farmer’s markets!

  31. something i need in my mouth right now! It looks delicious and I especially love my summer squash!

  32. marie says:

    Lovely dish as usual. I go through my cookbooks every few years and discard some, but what I can’t part with are my Cooks Illustrated magazines. They are priceless.

  33. Cathleen says:

    The great thing about spare change is that in almost every grocery store near my house, they have machines where they actually count out the change for you when you dump it in. So much fun!
    This looks absolutely perfect!

  34. Gratin is the magic word… I love it all ways, shapes and forms. But using summer squash is a fantastic idea!

  35. Elizabeth says:

    I am a bona fide non-hoarder, specifically so that moving is easier. So grateful for my lack of stuff right now.

  36. Camila Faria says:

    Beautiful gratin! I’m also a little obsessed with cookbooks. It feels great, doen’t it? 🙂

  37. Pam says:

    I see absolutely nothing wrong with getting a bigger bookcase for your cookbooks. Makes absolute perfect sense to me.

  38. I definitely always need summer squash ideas. I’ve eaten so much summer squash in the last few years it almost makes me want to avoid it all together, but I am loving this idea. Yummy 😀

  39. Lora says:

    A perfect squash dish..yum. Much happiness to you in your new pad.

  40. Margarita says:

    I am obsessed with my cookbooks. I had a party at my house once and we were playing games and needed something stable to support the pieces of paper we were writing notes on. Someone grabbed one of my cookbooks to use and I about flipped out. I consider my books sacred and totally understand your weirdness with them. 🙂 This Gratin is lovely!

  41. I dread the day I have to pack up and move. My kitchen and 2nd bedroom are loaded with baking stuff. Oh and I can’t forget the 5 large storage tubs of chocolate molds, that are along one wall of my garage. Oh it’s a disease!!

  42. Christine says:

    So glad your move went smoothly and the.boy. was so supportive. This dish looks delicious. I may try it omitting the pepper flakes and adding a few drops of white truffle oil. I also bet this would do well on the grill (in a pan obviously) vs. the oven. What a nice, lighter gratin for summer!

  43. Hotly Spiced says:

    I’m glad to hear you survived the move. It always takes some time to settle in to a new home – things like books lying on the floor is an upsetting sight but you’ll get there and perhaps the new bookshelf will have a little extra room for that 21st book! Love this gratin. The two zucchini colours are very pretty. I’d love to make this xx

  44. Blond Duck says:

    I hate moving, but I love this gratin!

  45. Gloria says:

    I love gratin and zucchini!!

  46. Your gratin looks fantastic! You amaze me, cooking and moving. I’d be too stressed.
    I can totally relate to cookbook hoarding!

  47. Megan says:

    That is simply mouthwatering! When Jeff’s friends helped us move, they dreaded all the boxes labeled “Megan – Cookbooks.” 🙂

  48. That Girl says:

    I’m a bit of a hoarder too- but I use moving as a time to purge.

  49. Dawn says:

    So simple – why didn’t I think of a gratin!? I just used the last of my summer squash from my farm. I’ll have to buy some more.

    Normally I’ll admit I’m a hoarder too but since I have people in town the next three weekends in a row you would not believe how clean my house actually is right now. I even installed shelves in the pantry and painted the front door.

  50. bellini says:

    A dish like this makes me not want to harvest all of the flowers on my zucchini and instead let them grow into zucchini.

  51. Don’t EVEN start on hoarding with me, Missy! I just discovered TEN Waterford brandy snifters. What? I don’t even drink brandy. We’re remodeling and I hear that downsizing is the new black. I’m so there. You had be at gratin and Gruyere. I’m so there. My guilty pleasure would be panko crumbs rather than whole wheat. But, that’s me– throwing caution to the wind. Hope your bookcase comes in fast.

  52. Jackie says:

    Hi Joanne

    What is a waxy potato?

    • Joanne says:

      Hi Jackie! New potatoes or baby potatoes tend to be the waxiest potatoes, but red potatoes are also pretty waxy. I used a mix of various baby potatoes. In general, I think any potato except for russets would be great here!

  53. tigerfish says:

    What a way to make full use of summer squashes! Love.

  54. You really take beautiful ingredients pictures and I adore your photos! We’re big fan of squash and this will be a great hit especially my children will love this!

  55. I am SO glad you have such a good man to love on you just the way you are. 🙂 That makes me happy beyond measure. And this gratin sounds absolutely divine, luv. 🙂

  56. Kari says:

    I currently have (fiction) books laying horizontally on top of proper vertically aligned books, because my bookcases are full but I still keep acquiring books. I have had to stop looking at the bookcases because it sends little shivers of horror down my spine when I do. So I feel your pain regarding the floor.

    Thankfully it sounds like you have a great boy on hand, and a great dinner to eat, to soothe the trauma 🙂

  57. Beth says:

    Congratulations on a successful move, even if not everything has a home yet! Your gratin looks like a great way to recover from it.

  58. Guru Uru says:

    Congratulations my friend, you will make it a home in no time 😀
    I am loving this delicious gratin recipe!

    Choc Chip Uru

  59. Johanna GGG says:

    well that’s the important thing about a new abode – that your cookbooks fit and you can still cook yummy meals like this gratin

  60. All hail the squash queen! Summer squash is awesome in this weather.
    My bread books line the floor, I kinda like em there. 🙂

  61. grace says:

    i’m not kidding when i say that i’m going into my kitchen immediately after i publish this comment and making this dish. no lie.

  62. Dichohecho says:

    Hurrah for patient boys 🙂 Mine has agreed to take me to Ikea when I get my first unfurnished place. He may live to regret this.
    I’m currently working my way through all the stuff I’ve brought back from university and sorting out childhood crap too as I’m back at my parents’ house. Apparently younger me collected ringpulls from cans :/

  63. Reeni says:

    I made a squash gratin this weekend too! It wasn’t nearly as good as this one looks and sounds! I hope you’re getting settled in your new place!

  64. I finally was able to buy a bookshelf for just my cookbooks. It was not technically supposed to be filed with cookbooks, but there you go.

  65. Ooooh awesome gratin dish. This will definitely get me to eat my veggies!

  66. I doubt anyone would have a hard time getting their daily allowance of vegetables with this dish around!

  67. Riley says:

    This is beautiful. What a great way to make good use of all that summer squash!

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  69. Jewels says:

    I know very well about the cookbook “towers”. I’m thinking of moving and I dread dealing with them. And then, of course, there are the magazines and the recipes I’ve copied off of the internet. Yikes! The gratin looks great and I have the squash in the fridge!

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