Years ago I made this squash casserole to take to my Mom’s for Thanksgiving. It was an immediate hit, even with those of my family who don’t really care for squash! Of course, it’s the addition of the cheeses (especially the creamy and nutty Gruyère) and the breadcrumbs that make it so tasty. My recipe is adapted from Southern Living’s Party Cookbook (1972). If you are looking for a different way to prepare squash – try this. It is fantastic!
- 4 lbs. yellow squash
- 1 medium sweet onion, finely diced
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 6 tablespoons flour
- 3 cups milk (I use 2%)
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup Swiss cheese, shredded (divide in half)
- ½ cup Gruyère cheese, shredded
- 1 cup fresh buttered bread crumbs (crumble 4-5 slices of bread into small pieces)
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt (try Penzeys 4/S blend)
- 1 teaspoon Cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg (I use fresh and grate with a microplane as shown)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Slice the squash into 1/3-inch pieces. In a large saucepan, boil the squash, onion, bay leaves and thyme in salted water, until the squash is almost tender. Drain, and remove the bay leaves.
Melt the butter in a large nonstick pan, and gradually add the flour. Slowly add the milk, and blend until the mixture thickens. Add the seasoned salt, cayenne pepper and nutmeg.
Remove the sauce from the heat and gradually add the eggs. Stir in ½ cup of the Swiss cheese and all of the Gruyère.
Gently add the squash to the sauce. You may have more sauce than you need, so I use a slotted spoon and add the squash to a greased 9″ x 13″ casserole dish first, and then add the sauce – you don’t want it to be soupy.
Sprinkle with the rest of the Swiss cheese, and top with the buttered bread crumbs.
Bake for 35 minutes or so until the casserole is bubbly and the top is brown, as shown at the beginning of this post. This is wonderful as a side dish or as an entrée as shown here with freshly sliced tomatoes and a healthy dose of black pepper. It’s a great alternative to your usual fried or sautéed squash.
Eat drink and be merry!