Mary Mack's Squash Casserole
To me, one version of culinary heaven is a summer supper made entirely from the bounty of a roadside farm stand. Fresh sliced tomatoes (or if I’m really ambitious, a tomato tart), lady peas (simmered with fatback in the cooking broth), roasted okra, and the star of the show, my mother’s squash casserole. No matter how many times I serve this on my screened porch in Sewanee or even at a more formal dinner with sliced tenderloin (on which occasion I might call it a gratin), I’ve never known this recipe to fail. And I’ve never known people not to ask for seconds. I hope you’ll enjoy incorporating it into your summer repertoire. It’s a sure thing.
- 9 small yellow squash (or 5 yellow squash and 4 zucchini for color)
- one small yellow onion
- one green bell pepper
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 eggs
- I sleeve Ritz crackers, crumbled
- 1/2 cup fresh grated parmesan
- 1 cup fresh grated Gruyère (or more to cover the casserole)
Preheat the oven to 350. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to boil. Coarsely slice squash and zuchini into 2 inch rounds and place in boiling water. While squash is simmering, chop onion, bell pepper and garlic and sauté in olive oil until tender. Set aside. When squash is tender, remove to a colander and allow all excess water to drain. Combine squash, onions, bell pepper, garlic in a large mixing bowl. Add eggs, lightly beaten, milk, Ritz cracker crumbs and parmesan. Mix well but gently and pour into a casserole dish. Top generously with grated gruyère and bake at 350 until eggs have set and cheese is golden and bubbly, about 45 minutes. You may also sauté a cup of Ritz crackers in half a stick of butter and add to the top of the casserole for absolute decadence.