Yesterday was one of those days when I stand with my arms propped on either side of the open refrigerator door, and challenge it to a duel– random ingredients vs. chef. My eyes first zeroed in on a fresh package of raw jumbo tiger shrimp, and then meandered over to the beautiful yellow summer squash that I had just picked up from the farm stand. Once the dusty cogs and wheels of my culinary mind started turning, eyes darting furiously from item to item, the following fusion of Tuscany-meets-Tapas was born: Summer Squash ‘Bruschetta’ with Shrimp, Bacon and Basil.
Traditionally, Bruschetta refers to a crusty slice of bread, roasted or toasted, rubbed with garlic, and topped with an array of fresh, mostly Italian, flavors. Well, I’m not usually one to adhere to the confines strict rules, so I decided that a nice, thick slice of roasted squash would do the trick as a base replacement (also good for my Gluten-free friends!). This dish is great as a party appetizer, or even as the star of the show when accompanied by a light salad.
- 1 medium yellow squash, sliced in long ¼ in pieces
- 8-10 fresh raw jumbo shrimp, cleaned, peeled and deveined
- ½ lb bacon, chopped into small pieces
- 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 2 tbs dry white wine
- 1 tomato, sliced and roasted
- approximately 1 cup of your favorite shredded cheese
- Fresh basil, torn or thinly sliced
- salt and pepper
1. Heat the oven to 425° F, and get the pan of tomato slices roasting (needs about 20 minutes). Remove and set aside for later.
2. Coat a baking sheet with pan spray, arrange the squash slices onto the sheet, and sprinkle each side with a light amount of salt and pepper. Bake at 425° for 10-12 minutes, until you can see the bottom edges of the squash starting to brown. Remove pan from oven, flip each slice over, and allow to cool for a couple of minutes.
3. Meanwhile, add the bacon to a sauté pan over medium heat. Render the bacon until it’s glistening and slightly translucent, about 2 minutes. If you’d like to drain a small amount of the bacon fat from the pan, now is the time to do so. Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute or so.
4. Next, add the chopped shrimp, and stir to incorporate all ingredients. Allow to cook for about 2 minutes.
5. Add the white wine, and deglaze pan for another 2-3 minutes, giving the mixture a good stir every so often. Once all the shrimp pieces have cooked through (will turn bright white and orange in color), remove pan from heat and set aside.
6. Top each piece of squash with a heaping spoonful of the bacon & shrimp, a roasted tomato slice, and a sprinkling of shredded cheese (amount up to you!).
7. Broil on Hi for 1-2 minutes (keep an eye on it) until cheese is golden brown and bubbly. Top with fresh basil and serve.