If someone on your block has a backyard vegetable patch, chances are you’ve come home to find a bag of zucchini and summer squash with a friendly note on your porch. These prolific Southern garden staples combine with another fundamental element of good neighbordom—the make-and-take casserole—in this classic recipe. Slicing the squash into half-inch-thick rounds, then parboiling, draining, and lightly pressing with paper towels helps absorb excess moisture, so the pieces hold their shape and texture while baking. It’s a little extra effort that pays off—no slippery, slimy squash here. The slices are suspended in a custardy, eggy mixture that rises as it bakes, almost crossing into soufflé territory.
Food & Drink
Serves 8 to 10
A classic Southern make-and-take casserole
photo: Peter Frank Edwards
2 yellow summer squash
5 large eggs, beaten
1 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup shredded Italian-blend cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Greek seasoning, such as Cavender's
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 tablespoon for buttering the baking dish
24 buttery crackers, such as Ritz, crushed
Preheat the oven to 350˚F.
Butter a 2-quart (8-by-11½-inch) baking dish.
Slice the zucchini and squash into ½-inch-thick slices and place in a large sauté pan or Dutch oven with water to cover; bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook for 10 minutes. Drain in a colander. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a clean towel and top with another clean towel, pressing lightly to absorb excess moisture.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, half-and-half, and flour. Stir in the scallions, ¼ cup of the Italian-blend cheese, ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese, and the Greek seasoning. Add the squash slices and gently fold them into the wet ingredients. Spread the mixture in the prepared baking dish. Top with the remaining cheeses.
Stir the melted butter into the crushed crackers and sprinkle the crumbs evenly over the surface of the casserole. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until set. Serve hot.
Recipe from Garden & Gun’s The Southerner’s Cookbook
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