One of the first cookbooks we bought after our marriage came as a bonus for joining a book club. It is called House and Garden’s New Cook Book. Our copy was printed in the United States of America in 1967. It’s a handsome book filled with recipes that sound intriguing—names like “Gigot en Croute” and “Veal Calvados” are representative—but the first recipe seemed like an awful lot of work, and we couldn’t lay our hands on any calvados for the second.
The upshot was that we didn’t cook many of the recipes in the book. Jerri did find one that became a staple summer dish in the Rang household, however. It’s called “Arabian Squash Casserole” in the book, but we just call it “Yellow Squash Casserole.” The original recipe called for peeling the squash, but after making it that way, Jerri tried unpeeled young yellow squash. The skin adds color and, we think, flavor to the dish.
Jerri also reduced the quantities of ingredients to make a side dish that will serve four to six people. It goes well with just about any kind of meat from barbecued ribs to roast chicken.
2 lbs. yellow summer squash
2 tsp. salt
1 cup grated medium or sharp Cheddar cheese
2/3 cup cottage cheese
3 large eggs
2/3 cup bread crumbs
2 T minced parsley
1/3 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
3 T butter
Wash and remove the stems and blossom scars from the squash. Grate the squash into a mixing bowl and mix it with the salt. Let it stand for twenty to thirty minutes. Preheat the oven to 350º.
While the grated squash is resting, wash and mince the parsley and set it aside. Grease a two quart casserole and grate the cheese, then drain the squash thoroughly in a colander. Press as much liquid out of the squash as you can.
Melt about three tablespoons of butter in a small dish or pan. Beat the eggs in the mixing bowl until they are lemon colored, then stir in the grated squash along with the cheeses, bread crumbs, parsley and pepper. Mix everything thoroughly and spoon the batter into the casserole. Pour the butter evenly over the top and bake at 350º for an hour.
NOTES: You can use either straight or crookneck yellow squash for this casserole. Choose ones no larger than two inches in diameter. If you do have larger squash, you may want to peel them. When we have done this, we have left narrow stripes of the yellow skin on the squash.