I fell in love with squash when we lived in western Kentucky. One year when our next door neighbor offered us space in her large garden in return for our help in tending it, I planted 24 different kinds of squash. My wife thinks that it was not more than 20, and she may be right, but I know that I had at least 5 different kinds of zucchini, 2 or 3 kinds of yellow squash plus patty pan, scallop and spaghetti squash and every kind of winter squash I could find.
Today I pick up my favorite kinds of squash at the farmers market. One of those favorites is yellow summer squash. It is famous in our family as the main ingredient in one of my most abject failures in the kitchen. “Not as bad as sherried summer squash” means that something I have made is at least edible. The sherried version complete with walnuts, butter, maple syrup, cinnamon, onions and sherry ended up on the compost pile. I tried my best to eat it, though the snickers and gagging sounds were distracting.
Just to show me what a real cook could do with yellow squash, Jerri found a recipe in one of her Book of the Month Club bonus cookbooks for a yellow squash casserole. We often call it a soufflé, because it is so light and flavorful.
Here is how to make it.
2 to 3 lbs. yellow squash
2 tsp. salt
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup cottage cheese
4 large eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
2 T minced parsley
1/3 tsp. white pepper
3 T melted butter.
Wash and remove the stem and blossom ends from the squash. Larger squash with tough skins should be peeled. Grate the squash and mix it with the salt in a medium bowl. After it sits for 20 to 30 minutes, drain and press the liquid from the squash.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grate the cheese, mince the parsley and beat the eggs until lemon colored. Butter a 3-quart casserole or soufflé dish. Melt the butter.
Mix the squash, parsley, cheddar and cottage cheese, bread crumbs, eggs and pepper thoroughly. Put the mixture into the baking dish and pour the butter over the top.
Bake for an hour. A knife inserted near the center should come our clean when the casserole is done. This is an excellent side dish with barbecued ribs or chicken.
NOTES: You should have three to four cups of grated squash. We prefer using sharp cheddar cheese, but use medium if you want a milder flavor.