Here in the South those who have vegetable gardens are beginning to have a plethora of yellow squash because of our warming weather. Yellow Squash is first of all so easy to grow but it also has so many health benefits as well. I thought it a good time to share a couple of recipes, one is a new recipe that I found to be delicious and the other has been a family favorite for many years. The first one I found in a magazine sometime ago. So long ago that I can't even give credit to the magazine but I thought it to be a "KEEPER" of a recipe.
Squash is a very healthy vegetable until you add in all the other ingredients that put them right over the top but you wouldn't make them every week and they are a crowd pleaser. Both of these recipes filled with cheese but with other healthy ingredients as well.
One of my favorite ways to prepare them is just simply sautéing them with a pat of butter and a bit of sliced onion that I have browned in the butter. Then I add in the sliced squash, brown them a bit and place the top on my sauté pan. They cook in their own liquid and are delicious this way being careful not to over cook them. This of course, is a weeknight veggie but squash can be soooooo yummy with some of the other things added in.
3 pounds yellow squash, thinly sliced
3 cups chopped red bell pepper
1 1/3 cups finely chopped leeks
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon salt
3 cups shredded extra-sharp white Cheddar cheese , divided
3 cups crushed buttery round crackers, divided
2 cups shredded fontina cheese
1 (16-ounce) container sour cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 cup grated carrot
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1 1/4 teaspoon seasoned salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
5 tablespoon butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350*. Spray a 13 X 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
In a large stockpot, bring squash, bell pepper, leeks, garlic, salt, and water to cover to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat, and simmer until squash is tender, about 6 minutes. Drain well.
In a large bowl, stir together squash mixture, 2 cups Cheddar cheese, 2 cups crushed crackers, fontina, sour cream, egg, carrot, parsley, dill, seasoned salt, and pepper. Spoon into a prepared pan. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup Cheddar. In a small bowl, stir together melted butter and remaining 1 cup crushed crackers. Sprinkle onto Cheddar.
Bake until hot and bubbly and topping is browned, about 30 minutes.
Makes 10 to 12 servings
This was such a simple casserole to put together and it is delicious. I loved the use of leeks, carrots, red bell pepper and the combination of cheeses put it over the top. I found myself warming it up for my lunch for the next couple of days.
I halved this recipe for my husband and I and still had leftovers but trust me neither of us cared, we both loved it that much and my husband is not so happy eating leftovers. He surely didn't mind this one at all.
It's an excellent dish for a crowd and can be prepared ahead without the topping. It may take a little longer to bake if it comes right out of the refrigerator but if making it for a crowd they will love it. It definitely has WOW factor.
The combination of cheeses was excellent. This was just before placing in the oven.
It browns beautifully with a crunchy top. Makes an excellent side with any meat, in this case we had smoked chicken and pole beans.
South of the Border Squash Casserole
1 cup chopped onion
2 1/2-3 pounds yellow squash, sliced
2 tablespoons butter
1 4-ounce can chopped green chilies
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
Pepper to taste
1 ½ cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 cup cottage cheese, small curd
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9x13 inch pan or 2-quart casserole dish. In a skillet, saute’ onion and squash in butter until tender. Stir in chilies, flour, salt and pepper. Pour into casserole. Sprinkle Monterey Jack cheese on top. Stir together the egg, cottage cheese, and parsley. Spread this mixture over the Monterey Jack cheese.
Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
My Notes: The cottage cheese mixture is a little difficult to spread but be patient, it will spread over the entire pan. Depending on the oven it sometimes needs to be cooked a little longer. A nice light browning on the top.
The South of the Border Squash is and has always been a family favorite and the newer recipe I have shared I think will also become a family favorite. I hope you will try these two recipes and let me know how you like it.
As an added note, I always keep a thermometer in my oven. I have never used an oven that is adequately calibrated and I like to make sure that the preheated temperature is exactly what it should be. This is a MUST for me. Also, taste for seasoning before placing in the oven. I always like to season anything I cook to taste, my own taste, of course, before baking.
Have a wonderful week, Carolyn