Summer squashes come in all shapes, sizes, and colors -round balls or long, shiny zucchini, glossy yellow globes of crookneck yellow squash, scalloped patty pans, and dozens of others. But growing up in East Texas, when gardeners talked about squash in summertime, it was always the crooknecks. By the time they appeared on the dinner table, they were sliced, dipped in cornmeal, and fried along with chopped onions in bacon grease. Once in awhile, a squash casserole showed up at a church potluck. Just about every church cookbook, and all cookbooks featuring Southern Food will have some variation of this recipe. In our own church cookbook, it is billed as “pastor’s favorite.” This particular recipe is my adaptation of one found in Jan Karon’s MItford Cookbook and Kitchen Reader under the title Puny’s Squash Casserole. Truth be told, you could use any thin skinned summer squash, but yellow ones make a lovely dish.
Yellow Squash Casserole.
2 Tablespoons butter plus enough to butter the baking dish
6-8 medium yellow squash, sliced into rounds
1 sweet yellow onion, chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup crushed Ritz crackers or potato chips
Sprig of fresh rosemary or parsley for garnish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.Butter a 9 X 13 baking dish. Steam squash and onions until tender, place in bowl and mash slightly with potato masher, add butter and stir to melt butter. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, cheese, salt and pepper, then add this mixture to squash before pouring into baking dish. Bake for 20-25 minutes, remove from oven, and add topping. Return to oven for 10-15 minutes to brown..Add garnish.