Even though people know I've got three big gardens and any number of little beds, and even though it stands to reason that I'm growing my own, they just can't help but unburden their own gardens and avoid the guilt they'd feel composting their own overabundance of squash by dumping it on me.
No. Really. Thanks. I never would have thought to grow my own.
Now what am I gonna do with this. sh*t.
Summer squash in all their different varieties grow easily and abundantly and no one ever believes that they only need a plant or two of any given variety let alone six of every summer squash known to man. And frankly, I personally am so burnt out on the stuff that this year I only grew crooknecks for the purpose of picking them as 2" babies and tossing them in my ongoing refrigerator pickle jar.
But I have to at least make an effort to eat some of it before I pass it on to the hens. I've had my fill of raw, grilled, stuffed, sauteed, baked, and deep fried. Then I found this in Greene on Greens, an underused cookbook in my collection that I need to crack open more often. It's a custardy, creamy, yummy casserole with the texture of mousse. Michael has renamed it Squashed Mousse. Cheese, eggs, sour cream, butter.... what's not to like!
Summer Squash Casserole
4-1/2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 pound of summer squash, trimmed, sliced /8 inch thick
½ cup of grated monterey jack cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
½ cup of sour cream
2 tablespoons of dry white wine or vermouth
1 dash of hot pepper sauce
½ cup of fresh bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion; cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
Add 2 tablespoons of the butter to the pan over medium heat. Stir in the squash. Cook, tossing frequently, until all moisture has evaporated and the squash is tender, about 10 minutes. Transfer to the container of a food processor and process, using the on/off switch, until fairly smooth.
Transfer the puréed squash to a large mixing bowl. Add the cheese, egg, sour cream, wine, salt, sugar, hot pepper sauce, and sautéed onions. Mix well, Pour into a buttered baking dish.
Melt the remaining 1-1/2 tablespoons butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in the bread crumbs; sauté until golden, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle the crumbs over the squash mixture. Bake until lightly golden, about 30 minutes. Sprinkle with the parsley before serving.
Public Service Announcement: Folks, if you find yourselves faced with an embarrassment of riches from your garden and your neighbors are pulling the curtains and hiding when you show up on their doorsteps, please, drop off those bags and boxes of extra produce at your local food banks and re-distributors. Here in Floyd that would be at Plenty! located just north of the Harvest Moon on route 8.