Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Pass the (Squash) Casserole, Please!

Published Thursday, July 12, 2018 at 9:07 am

By Sherrie Norris

There hasn’t been a kid in a candy store any more pleased than I have been in my garden these past couple of weeks. Watching as our squash, zucchini and cucumber vines have not only grown at rapid speed, it seems, but transitioning from blossoms to veggies overnight, has been delightful.

The very first squash I picked this year turned into a sliced oven-baked delicacy, with a little olive oil and a few herbs sprinkled on top for good measure. Ahhh, it was delicious. There is no shortage of ways to prepare summer squash, so sit back for the next week or so, and we will dive into a few of the more appealing and familiar ways to prepare it — for the health-conscious as well as those who love it in its pan-fried or creamy casserole form.


Marinated Squash

5 medium squash

½ cup sliced onions

½ cup green pepper sliced

½ cup chopped celery

Mix in a large bowl.


Heat the following marinade ingredients until dissolved; cool and pour over the vegetables; refrigerate for about a day before eating.

2 Tbsp. wine vinegar

¾ cups sugar

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1 clove garlic, minced

2/3 cups cider vinegar


Sauteed Yellow Squash

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. butter

½ red bell pepper, chopped

2 small to medium yellow squash, sliced

Salt and pepper

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley

2 Tbsp. chopped onion, optional


Preheat skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil, then butter. When butter melts, add red peppers and squash. Saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, parsley and onion, if desired.


Quick Squash Casserole 

2 cups yellow squash, chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

½ cup milk

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup grated cheese

¼ cup melted butter

14 Ritz crackers, crushed and divided

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook onion and squash until tender; drain. Add milk and beaten egg to squash and onion mixture. Mix cheese, butter, half the crushed Ritz crackers and add to mixture. Add salt and pepper. Pour into buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining crushed Ritz crackers on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.


Baked Stuffed Summer Squash

6 yellow Squash

¾ cup ricotta cheese

4 green onions, chopped

½ tsp. parsley

½ tsp. rubbed sage

½ tsp. thyme leaves

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove and discard stem ends of the squash. Slice squash lengthwise, scoop out seeds and place the halves side-by-side on a baking sheet. Combine remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Fill the hollows in the squash evenly with the cheese mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes or until squash is tender. Serve immediately.


Oven-Roasted Squash

(Mixed or single variety, both work well)

Olive oil

Coarse salt

Preheat oven to 425. Wash, dry and slice squash in half or fourths, as desired. Sprinkle with olive oil and liberally with coarse salt. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast in preheated oven for 20 minutes or until they begin to brown and are tender.

These may also be left whole, if desired. Shredded cheese on top during last 5 minutes of baking time adds a nice touch.


Squash Croquettes

2 pounds yellow squash, sliced

2 to 2½ cups fine, dry breadcrumbs, divided

½ cup green onion, minced

2 eggs

2 Tbs. grated parmesan cheese

1 tsp. salt

½ tsp. pepper

1 cup cornmeal

Vegetable oil

Cook squash in a small amount of water until tender; drain and mash. Add 2 cups breadcrumbs and next 5 ingredients. Add more breadcrumbs if mixture is too soft. Shape mixture into about 18 oval patties; roll in cornmeal. Deep-fry in hot

oil (375 degrees) until golden.



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