Summertime tastes like juicy ripe tomatoes, sweet corn, watermelon, butter beans and, of course, yellow squash. I love squash and enjoyed growing it in my garden for years. For now, because I’m working away from my garden, I get mine at the local Farmers’ Market. This recipe is inspired by one of my and my son’s heroes, Sidna Brower Mitchell, well known as a great cook and food-writer, but perhaps even more important as the unjustly maligned student editor of the Daily Mississippian newspaper on the Ole Miss campus when it was forceably integrated in 1961. My recipe is an adaptation of hers, with a few extra ingredients. Hope you enjoy it while the markets are flush with produce. I think you also can freeze this after you’ve cooked it.
Summer Squash Casserole
EQUIPMENT : Large mixing bowl, small mixing bowl, chef’s knife, chopping board, large sauce pan or dutch oven, measuring equipment, wooden spoons, Pyrex measuring cups, mesh colander, gallon-size zip-top bag, large baking dish, cooking spray
6 medium yellow squash, sliced
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
48 Ritz crackers, finely crushed
3 cups sharp Cheddar cheese
3 eggs, beaten
½ cup milk or cream
4 tablespoons melted butter
½ teaspoon salt, ground pepper
LET’S GET STARTED:
Preheat oven to 350. Wash and prep vegetables.
In saucepan, heat olive oil on medium-high, then add onions, bell peppers and squash. Saute’ until tender, about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Into plastic bag, put Ritz crackers and smash them or use your fingers to squeeze them into cracker crumbs. In a large bowl, combine cracker crumbs, cheese and green onions.
When veggies are tender, add half cracker/cheese mixture into them.
In small bowl, lightly beat eggs and add cream/milk. Add this to squash mixture, then pour in melted butter. Combine.
In buttered or veg-sprayed casserole dish, spread the squash mixture. Sprinkle top with rest of cracker mixture. (Optional – Dot top with 1 tablespoon butter.)
Bake in 350 oven 30 minutes, then boost heat to 400 and cook another 10-15 minutes until veggies are cooked through and cheese-cracker crust is golden.
SERVE: Delicious side dish with any of your favorites like fried or grilled chicken, steaks etc. Serves about 6.
Sidna Brower Mitchell can be reached via email as firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks, Sidna, for it all!