I have always loved squash. Especially baked squash in the casserole form. Even as a kid, my mom would saute zucchini and yellow squash together in a little butter in a frying pan and I adored it. I like it coated with a little flour and cornmeal and fried and I even like it chopped up raw in a salad.
I was a strange kid though. I didn’t like hamburgers or pizza. I always loved places that had home-cooked food like au gratin potatoes and bean soup. Go figure.
I love the squash casserole at Black Eyed Pea, but once that restaurant disappeared, I lost it forever, or so I thought. Mr. Wonderful used to be a big time manager at the local restaurant here, and he recalled from memory what he thought went into it, so I set about trying it out.
This side dish brings all the flavor of squash with a crunchy topping that just says “side dish” in a wonderful way.
Start by chopping up around 5 pounds of yellow squash.
I know that sounds like a lot, but believe me, after it cooks down? It really fills only a 3 quart baking dish. Only making it for a small group of 2-4? You could probably halve it, but I wouldn’t.
You’ll want the leftovers.
This recipe will actually serve around 10.
In a large sauce pan, drizzle 1/4 cup of olive oil.
Lop off both ends of your yellow squash.
Slice it long ways down the middle and flip both pieces over so the flat (seed) side is down. Slice across both pieces at once to make half-moon pieces.
Continue chopping the rest of your squash in the same manner. Toss your squash into your pan.
Chop about 1/2 of a large onion and throw that in with your squash. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Give it all a stir, cover your pan and cook on medium-low for about 20 minutes.
You really don’t want browned squash, you just want to soften it up. Stir it every few minutes to move the pieces around to heat evenly.
While that’s cooking, melt one stick of butter in a bowl. In another bowl, beat up 2 eggs.
Measure out 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 cup of breadcrumbs and keep them handy.
Cook your squash for around 15 minutes or until it is very soft. Now here’s the fun part.
Get out your potato masher. If you don’t have one, you could use a fork, but a potato masher is so much more enjoyable.
You could do this part right in your pan, if it’s large enough. I transferred mine to a large bowl. Take your potato masher and begin smashing your squash up.
You don’t want it creamed, but you want to smash it pretty good.
Aggression is nice sometimes. Really go after it!
Now, dump in your breadcrumbs, your egg, your sugar, your melted butter and also add in 1 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper.
Pour in 1 teaspoon of chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 teaspoon chopped dried rosemary. I just love squash and rosemary together. They just roll well together.
Take a large spoon and mix all of this up together.
Spoon it into a 3 quart casserole dish.
I know, I know, it’s not very pretty is it? Just remember, good things don’t always come in pretty packages.
In a small bowl, mix together another 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs and 1/4 cup of Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle this mixture over top of your squash mixture.
Pop it into your oven for about 30 minutes or until the crunchy topping is brown and crispy looking.
The flavor of this is so yummy. I needed to take a picture so I scooped out a serving onto a plate.
Usually I just add it back to the dish and serve it for dinner.
But I snuck a bite during this process.
And then I snuck another one.
And then I dished up a second serving.
This dish is good in the summer, when squash is abundant but equally good as a Thanksgiving side!
Today, I’m participating in Food Network’s Sensational Side Fest featuring “Cheesy”. For more great recipes, try visiting these other great bloggers!
Jeanette’s Healthy Living: Fresh Tomato Burrata Cheese Pesto Dip
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Roasted Asparagus With Balsamic Vinegar and Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese
Red or Green: Grilled Vegetable and Cheese Quesadillas
Feed Me Phoebe: Skillet Lasagna With Zucchini, Arugula and Fontina Cheese
Cooking With Elise: Cheesy Chicken Quesadillas
Weelicious: Cheesy Corn on the Cob
Domesticate Me: Seared Scallops With Spring Vegetables
Devour: Cheese-Filled Summer Side Dishes
Made by Michelle: Broccoli Cheese “Meatballs”
The Heritage Cook: Creamy and Cheesy Potato Casserole (Gluten-Free)
Dishin & Dishes: Baked Squash Casserole
FN Dish: Cheesy Spring Sides
The Sensitive Epicure: Frico: Parmesan Cheese Crackers
Virtually Homemade: Easy Cheesy Enchilada (Gluten-Free)
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