12 August 2016

That iconic summer casserole, a bit lighter

Yellow summer squash are ubiquitous in summer gardens, and a little too prolific.  They are also bland--pleasant, but bland. So it's no wonder the Southerners came up with this cheesy, crunchy concoction for getting through the vegetable you wish you hadn't bothered to plant. It is delicious, but the original is awfully unhealthy, filled with sour cream and/or mayonnaise, a ton of cheese, and Ritz crackers for the top (and that's how you know it's Southern). I swapped out the white goo for yogurt, cut the amount of cheese, and switched to light panko bread crumbs. It's still not as good for you as a kale smoothie, but you'll live. 

Summer Squash Casserole
Serves 8-10 as a side

2 teaspoons olive oil
6 medium yellow summer squash, thinly sliced
1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 serrano pepper, minced (optional)
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar or other cheese of your choice
1/2 cup Greek-style, plain yogurt
2-3 scallions, thinly sliced (white and green parts)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1 ½ Panko bread crumbs

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 2-quart casserole dish. In a small bowl, combine the yogurt, shredded cheese, scallions, and a pinch of salt.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the squash, onion, serrano, and thyme until soft. Season with salt and pepper. Pour into the prepared casserole dish and stir in the cheese mixture.

Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the top. Bake for 20 minutes or until the top is golden and bubbly.

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