Squash is the gift that keeps on giving. Those of you who have ever grown squash of any variety are nodding your heads in agreement at the thought of so much bounty and having to deal with what to do with it all.
The bounty I’m dealing with is what to do with tomatoes this year. Since I am sensitive to their acidity I walk around with a rather tender palate during the last days of summer. Why should I have to stop eating them? Really the pain and discomfort is not that bad – at least not yet!
My neighbor, on the other hand, has the issue of squash mania and in her gleeful. almost sinister way, has been sneaking bagsful of them onto my doorstep. I stumble on upon them when leaving the house. No note necessary. I know who the culprit is!
I lugged all of the tomato, squash and cucumber bounty with me on vacation. The first week of vacation there was one absolutely gorgeous day of pouring down rain, which called for a big batch of homemade fish chowdah, served with the recipe you see below.
In an effort to help out the cause of “squash abbondanza,” try this delicious and easy recipe.
Squash Casserole with Garlic Breadcrumbs
I made this casserole in a ceramic quiche dish, but any shallow glass or ceramic pie plate or heatproof dish will work. Also the use of butter and olive oil brings up the heating point of the fat and makes it a bit more healthful but with still a lot of good buttery flavor.
Serves 3 as a main course and 6 as a side dish
1 tablespoon unsalted butter plus additional for buttering the dish
2 to 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large garlic clove, minced
3 slices firm whole wheat sandwich bread with crust, coarsely ground in a food processor (about 1 ½ cups)
¾ teaspoon each salt and freshly ground black pepper, divided
¼ cup chopped fresh flat leaf parsley or chives
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
8 ounces button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
2 pounds yellow squash (about 5 medium), trimmed, halved lengthwise, and sliced crosswise ¼-inch thick
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups half and half or heavy cream
Preheat oven to 400°F and butter a 1 ½- to 2-quart capacity glass or ceramic shallow baking dish. In a large non-stick or cast iron skillet heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over moderate heat until hot and cook garlic for 30 seconds, stirring. Add bread crumbs and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. Cook stirring, until crumbs are golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a small bowl and stir in parsley.
In same skillet, melt the remaining 1 tablespoons of butter and 1 tablespoon of oil over moderate heat. Cook onion with the remaining ½ teaspoon each salt and pepper, stirring, until softened, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and thyme and cook, stirring, until the liquid the mushrooms give off has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add squash and continue to cook until just tender and liquid has evaporated (add remaining tablespoon of oil if necessary), about 2 minutes more. Sprinkle flour over vegetables and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Add half and half in a slow stream, while stirring, and bring to a boil, simmer, stirring occasionally, until liquid is thickened, about 4 minutes. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish and top evenly with bread crumb mixture. Bake in middle of oven until crumbs are golden brown and liquid is bubbling, about 15 minutes.
Serving note: A big green salad or a good bowl of soup, whether hot or a cold, depending on your climate (gazpacho would be delish on a steamy day), will make this a dinner. Or simply serve as a side dish to accompany either grilled or roasted meat or fish.
Special Fork is a recipe website for your smartphone and PC that solves the daily dinnertime dilemma: what to cook now! Our bloggers blog Monday through Friday to give you cooking inspiration. Check out our recipe database for quick ideas that take no more than 30 minutes of prep time. Join the conversation on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.