Welcome to our first harvest from the garden and a week’s worth of vegetable recipes.
First up, an old family favorite made just for kids that don’t like vegetables.
There is nothing like making a dish that takes you back to good times. As I was in the garden foraging for squash hidden in between the giant leaves I was thinking about this casserole. I picked almost three pounds of squash and a pound of peppers this morning. I weighed it just to be sure. Amazing! I plant squash almost every spring. Sometimes I get beautiful plants and blooms, but never a squash. This year, for some reason, the plants are huge and are loaded with squash!
Now what to do with it? I could make zucchini bread, grate it and serve it in place of spaghetti, or chop it and freeze it, but I want a taste of it now. So I think the Summer Squash Casserole is my best bet.
Amy, my middle child, doesn’t like “squishy feeling” food. No tomatoes, squash, jello, most fruits…. You get the idea. So in the summer when the squash was coming on I had to figure out some way to get her to eat some. (My children weren’t picky eaters.) So I called this Cracker Casserole and Amy would eat it when she was little. I bet we can’t fool her any more.
Happy summer gardening and cooking!
Cracker Casserole (with squash) aka Summer Squash Casserole
- 3 medium yellow squash*, halved length-wise, sliced into half-moons
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
- 4-5 stems fresh thyme
- 1 cup chicken broth, low-sodium, low fat
- 1 can cream of chicken soup
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup cracker crumbs (I used saltines)
- 4 tablespoons butter, divided
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350°. Lightly spray with non-stick spray an 8-inch square baking dish.
Bring the squash, onion, bell pepper, thyme, and broth to a boil in a medium saucepan with a lid. Add enough water to almost cover the squash. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid evaporates a little and the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Drain in a collender. At this point I mash the squash a little with a fork. Transfer back to pan.
Stir in the cream of chicken soup, 2 tablespoons butter, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
Spread in the baking dish. Sprinkle with the cracker crumbs and dot with the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. You can dress this up with any cracker crumbs. You can substitute cheese for the cracker crumbs and butter as a topping. This is a very versatile recipe. Make it to your taste. Maybe I’ll skip the carbs and add the cheese for my dish.
Bake until the juices are simmering around the edges and the top is crusty, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 5 minutes, then serve hot.
*You can use zucchini squash too.