I know they are completely out of season but for the last few weeks, the only good-looking vegetable in stores have been summer squash. I know summer is long over. The icy glaze on my car each morning reminds me of that. But I am taking advantage of these versatile vegetables while they are still around (or are they fruits?).
Summer squash and zucchini both pair really well with tomatoes. And since I was in the mood for Mexican food, I was going to make something work. What I really wanted on a cold night was the spicy, satisfying dish that is chilaquiles. Chilaquiles are not pretty but they taste fantastic. It is akin to a Mexican lasagna, with layers of tortilla, tomatillos, salsa, cheese, and sour cream. It can be served for breakfast but I normally enjoy it for dinner.
Unfortunately I didn’t have torilla, tomatillos, salsa, or sour cream. Lack of ingredients, the mother of innovation. I was able to find some stale taco shells, canned tomatoes and hot sauce. I set about making my own salsa, with Spanish olives to mimic the tart, addictive flavor of the tomatillos. I used slices of summer squash to add body to the overall dish.
In the end, I had a tasty, vegetarian, filing dish which I was proud to call my own invention. If you have the time, I suggest serving it with some chopped hard-boiled eggs on top and sour cream or Greek yogurt, if you have it. Try to hide some of the leftovers. Cold chilaquiles makes a great breakfast/lunch/dinner.
1 large onion
14 oz chopped tomato
1/2 c Spanish olives
2 tsp saltfresh black pepper
Tabasco or other hot sauce
6 hard taco shells, broken in half
3 summer squash, slices
1/2 c cheddar cheese, grated
Place onion into food processor and puree until smooth. Add tomato, olives, salt, and pepper. Pulse until chunky. Season with Tabasco to taste.
Place sauce in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce for 5-7 minutes.
Add some sauce to the bottom of an 8×8 casserole dish. Layer four pieces of taco shell over the sauce. Top with a layer of slice summer squash. Add half of the remaining sauce. Repeat.
Top with cheese. Place casserole into the oven for 40-50 minutes or until squash are cooked through. Serve with chopped hard-boiled eggs and Greek yogurt, if desired.