About the Recipe
My grandmother has a great recipe for squash casserole my mom has been making for years; it uses cans of Campbell's Cheddar Cheese and lots of delicious butter. However, when our health started to become a concern, I decided to try and modernize the concept and take some of the extras out, making the squash the true star of the show but still maintain the deliciousness. This is the basic recipe; I will occasionally change things up from time to time.
2-4 Squash & Zuchinni, this is not exact because as you know, the sizes vary.
1 cup of shredded cheese, your pick on the cheese-we use cheddar or a blend.
1/4 cup Minute Rice*--not regular rice.
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
2 TBLS fresh herbs (or 1 Tbls of dried)
I used Basil, Tarragon and Parsley
1 TBLS coarse salt
Sprinkle of Parmesan
Salt & Pepper to taste
(Other ingredients you can consider adding; 1/4 cup chopped onion, 1/4 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes, sliced eggplant)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and oil and/or line a 9x13 pan or your desired casserole pan, I used the medium sized Staub bakeware pan (it measures 10.5" L x 7.5" W according to the website).
Slice your squash and zucchini and salt with the coarse salt (if you are adding eggplant, also give them this salt treatment). Remember, squash is like mushrooms and eggplant, the salt will draw out moisture. If you choose not to use rice, you'll want to lay the squash out on a paper towel and allow to set for 2 minutes then towel off before cooking. I use the rice, so I just salt it all in a bowl and then rinse and drain after 2 minutes. If you are using rice, cover the bottom of your casserole pan with it. Trust me, the rice will soak up the moisture from the squash. We've made this without the rice and without drawing the moisture out with salt and there is a lot of water in the pan. It's still very delicious though, so if you forget the salting and don't have the rice or just don't want to fuss with it, the dish will be just as tasty, if a little watery. *I do warn you to use Minute Rice because we've also tried this with regular rice and the rice did not cook through*.
Once your squash has been toweled off or drained, start layering it.In between each layer, use half the cheese, herbs, seasonings and other ingredients you may have chosen to include. I usually add in some onion and will occasionally add sundried tomatoes.
I usually get two layers of squash but if you are using a larger pan, you may get more. I do usually have some slices of squash left over so I tuck them along the sides.
Top the dish with the remaining cheese, herbs, seasons, and sprinkle along some parmesan cheese. Then I dot the top with cubes of softened butter.
Bake in the pre-heated oven for approximately 30 minutes. However, this may take up to 45 minutes to an hour.
The first go around, you may need to add more salt once plated. I did and I'll be honest with you, I don't usually measure salt, I just throw it in and taste as I go. Because the squash will continue to soak up a lot of salt and draw the moisture out, you will probably need more salt than you think you do.