The following recipe is from the September 9 edition of our weekly recipe newsletter. To receive this newsletter in your inbox, sign up here!
Labor Day has come and gone, and cherries and berries might be coming to an end, but summer isn't really over. Case in point: squash. During the balmy days of August squash seems like a nuisance, but during the countdown to fall I am more than happy to see it. Although it might not be as transcendent as a perfect peach, it is a pleasant souvenir of the summer.
Grafton Squash Casserole is a great way to handle summer squash, which can be bland if not prepared correctly. This recipe from Tracey Medeiros's Dishing Up Vermont pairs squash with butter, herbs, cream, and Vermont-made Grafton Cheddar. The combination is incredible—it's almost like macaroni and cheese minus the macaroni. The texture of the the summer squash has an al dente bite and a sweetness that will remind you that summer isn't quite over.
- Yield:8 to 10
- 1 cup (2 sticks) plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
- 3 pounds summer squash, roughly chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 6 ounces Grafton 2-year-old cheddar, or other aged sharp cheddar, grated
- 1 1/2 cups Panko breadcrumbs
- 1/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked sweet paprika
Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease a 9 x 9-inch pan or casserole dish, and set aside.
In a medium skillet, heat 1/2 pound of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft and translucent, stirring occasionally. Add the squash, red pepper flakes, and salt, and saute until the squash is wilted and turning golden brown.
Add the oregano, cream, mustard, and two-thirds of the cheese. Reduce the heat to low and cook the mixture until it has reduced and thickened. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons of butter. Gently combine the remaining cheese, the breadcrumbs, paprika, and the melted butter in a medium bowl, and sprinkle mixture evenly over the casserole. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until the casserole is hot and bubbly and the topping is nicely browned.
Let the casserole rest for 20 to 30 minutes before serving.