I’ve had a recipe marked for a while for a zucchini drop biscuit. It seemed like a good way to use up one last stray zucchini from the farmers market. It’s a pretty good recipe, nothing special. But it did lead me to the idea of a proper biscuit. I do love a biscuit, and think they are a real treat with special add-ins. I’ve made them with fresh corn, tomatoes, carrots, strawberries and blueberries so I knew I could make it work. I decided on yellow squash because it has such a buttery color and mild flavor and works so well with nutty gruyere (I love some grated over sauteed squash or in a casserole). Yellow squash also doesn’t get enough attention in baking like zucchini does (though try it in these lively muffins). Thyme is my favorite herb with squash so I add that in the mix too. All together, these moist, tender and tangy biscuits are a perfect bite of summer, warm from the oven and slathered in good butter. I love them in the bread basket for a summer supper. But don’t stop there! These make a great breakfast sandwich and are really interesting with jam, or even pepper jelly. And a slice of tomato – oh my!
You really need to squeeze the watery liquid from the squash, so I just bundle them up in a tea towel and twist the top to squeeze and squeeze until almost nothing comes out. It isn’t difficult. Grated gruyere adds such a nutty flavor, but you can use cheddar or gouda or something similar. Thyme and squash are perfect, but oregano or dill would work as well. Folding the biscuit dough over itself as detailed in the recipe helps the biscuits rise and creates nice layers. Be gentle and you will get tall, tender biscuits. I cut these in squares so there’s no dough wastage, but if you prefer rounds, go ahead. You could definitely cut them into cocktail size bites and serve with some pork tenderloin on a lovely buffet. The biscuit really are best just baked, but you can keep the unbaked dough in the fridge for several hours. Leftovers are best toasted or warmed in a low oven.
Summer Squash and Gruyere Biscuits
2 medium sized yellow summer squash
3 cups all-purpose soft wheat flour (such as White Lily)
1 Tablespoon baking powder
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
1 cup finely grated gruyere cheese
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup whole buttermilk
- Grate the squash on the fine holes of a box grater onto a thin tea towel. Use the towel to bundle up the squash and squeeze out as much moisture as you can.
- Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low to combine, then add the thyme and the grated cheese and mix to combine. Add the drained squash and mix to combine – separate the shreds of squash as you add them to the flour so they don’t clump up. Add the melted butter and buttermilk and mix on medium just until the dough is coming together. Don’t overmix, if use your hands to knead any flour that remains in the bowl, and you can add a splash more buttermilk if needed.
- Flour a pastry cloth or counter surface lightly and turn the dough out onto it. Lightly press the dough into a rectangle about 2-inches thick. Fold the dough in half horizontally, then press back into a 2-inch rectangle. Fold once vertically and press back to shape, another horizontal fold and press, then a last vertical fold. Press back into a 2-inch-thick rectangle and square off the edges. The folding helps create nice layers. Be gentle and just press everything together, don’t pound or knead. Cut into 6 evenly sized square biscuits and place almost touching on a small, rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Brush the tops of the biscuits lightly with buttermilk. If you have a little extra gruyere or thyme, you can sprinkle some on the top. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but several hours is fine.
- When ready to serve, beat to oven to 425 degrees. Bake the biscuit for 20 – 25 minutes until risen and golden brown on top. Serve warm. These are best eaten right from the oven, but leftovers can be stored wrapped tightly and warmed in a warm oven to serve.