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Zucchini and much more – creamy, light and delicious

Recipe: Two-squash casserole uses mix of summer squash

Yellow and green squashes, diced
The yellow pattypan and green zucchini squashes are diced before steaming.
(Photos: Debbie Arrington)

Creamy summer squash casserole is an old Kentucky favorite. Usually, it’s made with baby crooknecks; peeled, boiled and mashed.

This variation uses a mix of summer squash, still plentiful in October. Even (somewhat) over-sized squash will work. Once puréed, big and little squash all cook the same.

The combination of green zucchini and yellow pattypan makes for an attractive side dish, too. All green or all yellow is pretty (and tasty), too.

Two-squash casserole

Makes 6 servings

Zucchini and pattypan squash
Summer squash season is coming to an end, but there's
still time to find (or harvest) them for the casserole.

2 pounds mixed summer squash (zucchini, pattypan, crookneck, etc.), chopped into 1-inch chunks

1 egg, beaten

¼ cup cream

1 tablespoon sugar

5 teaspoons cornstarch

½ cup (1 cube) butter, melted

½ cup onion, finely chopped

¼ cup Parmesan or Romano cheese, grated

Salt and pepper to taste


Casserole baked and ready to eat
Two-squash casserole is a homey, creamy side dish.

Grease a 2-quart casserole dish. Set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Steam squash over simmering water until fork tender. In a food processor, purée squash until smooth.

In a mixing bowl, beat egg with cream. Mix together sugar and cornstarch; add to egg-cream mixture. Stir in melted butter and chopped onion. Fold in puréed squash. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour mixture into greased casserole dish. Sprinkle grated cheese over top.

Bake in a 350-degree oven for 40 minutes or until top is golden.

Serve warm.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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