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Squash Recipes

We're approaching that time of year when gardens start "turning to squash", as Momma used to say. Yellow squash and its cousin zucchini are everywhere! They're inexpensive, filling, and complement a wide range of other dishes.

One of my favorite ways to use squash and zucchini together is this simple recipe, which roasts fresh veggies into a healthy, versatile side dish.

Baked Squash and Zucchini

You'll need:

3-4 yellow squash and 2-3 zucchini

1 Tbsp olive oil

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp Italian seasoning mix (or other)

Parmesan cheese, grated, for garnishing

To make:

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F

Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (which works better) or aluminum foil

Quarter (unpeeled) squash and zucchini lengthwise, then slice into 1" pieces. Try to make the pieces as uniform as possible so they roast evenly

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, salt, pepper and spice blend

Add chopped squash and zucchini to the oil and spice mixture, toss gently to coat

Arrange pieces in a single layer on the baking sheet (Crowding or layering them makes them roast unevenly)

Roast for 6-8 minutes, then use a spatula to turn them once before returning to oven for another 6-8 minutes (total time 12-16 minutes), or until evenly browned

Remove from oven and let cool for 2-3 minutes, transfer to a serving dish and garnish with parmesan cheese

Serve warm

This dish works well with Greek, Cajun and other seasoning mixes. I always try to keep the amount of squash and zucchini equal, but you can vary this according to your preference.

Squash Casserole is a Covered Dish Supper go-to that everyone knows how to make, but few make well. If you want to impress someone with your culinary skills--don't make squash casserole. There are excellent recipes out there that are a bit complicated, but what I do instead is a tasty, quick & easy squash casserole that takes less than 40 minutes, start to finish. Best of all, if you keep some canned squash and onions on hand, everything else in it is probably something you've already got, as well.

Quick Squash Casserole

You'll need:

4 (14 oz) cans of squash and onions, drained (I prefer Margaret Holmes brand)

1 ½ cups of bread crumbs OR butter crackers, crushed (Ritz or equivalent), divided

1 ½ cups shredded cheese

½ cup sour cream

2 eggs

1 tsp garlic powder (or 1 tsp minced garlic)

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp ground black pepper

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided

2 Tbsp chives, chopped (optional)

4 Tbls (½ stick) butter, melted

To make:

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F

Butter an 8 x 8 casserole dish (I rub the dish with my ½ stick, then set it aside)

In a large mixing bowl, lightly beat the eggs, then mix in sour cream, salt, pepper, garlic, ¼ cup Parmesan cheese, ½ cup shredded cheese, ½ cup bread or cracker crumbs, and the squash and onions. Mix gently but thoroughly.

Pour squash mixture into casserole

For topping: melt butter, whisk in remaining Parmesan cheese and chives, then add remaining bread/cracker crumbs and mix well

Cover squash mixture with topping, spread evenly

Bake 30-35 minutes or until topping is golden brown and casserole is bubbling

Remove from oven and let cool before serving.

You can easily vary the flavor of this dish by using different types of grated cheese--I prefer a blend of white and yellow cheeses as this gives a rich, complex sauce. I've also been known to omit the freshly chopped chives and just throw in some parsley flakes.

Another way to jazz up this casserole is by adding a small can of diced water chestnuts (drained) and several dashes of hot sauce. This gives it a little heat and a little extra crunch, which makes it stand out from the run-of-the-mill squash casserole.

If you absolutely must use fresh squash (because you've got tons of them), slice 12-15 squash into ½ inch thick slices, lightly saut√© with 1 large chopped Vidalia onion, drain, and add as above.

Eat well, and enjoy!

 

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