I grew up eating delicious roasted fall squash, especially acorn and butternut. Because I love them, I often cook them at work for my customers. I also cook them to educate my customers, because there are a ton of people that grew up in the South that have never tasted a hard cooked squash. I’ve given out a lot of samples to get people to try them, people that now want to know how to cook them.
Cooking fall squash is really quite simple. You simply cut them, scoop out the seeds (fall squash have seeds like pumpkin which is in this same family), butter them and roast them. A good hour in a 400F oven will do the trick, but I’ve got a shortcut that I’ll share in this recipe. This recipe works for butternut or acorn squash. Either can be cooked by simply splitting in half, or you can cut them lengthwise as I do at work. Not only does this decrease the amount of time needed to cook them, it allows you more servings out of the squash, so it’s entirely up to you how you break down the squash depending on what you’re shooting for. You can simply half it and fill it up with butter and give everyone a half, or slice it up and give everyone a few slices. By slicing it, you simply cut down the cooking time.
For two servings you will need:
- 1 acorn or butternut squash, halved and scooped of seeds
- 2 tbsp butter, melted
- 2 tbsp brown sugar
In a glass baking dish, arrange the squash halves and add 2 tbsp per half of water. Cover with plastic wrap and microwave on HI for 6 minutes. This will soften up the squash and speed up your cooking time. If you’re slicing the squash instead of halving them, microwave for 4 minutes.
Drain the water from the dish and flip the squash over, cut side up. Drizzle the butter over the squash and sprinkle with brown sugar. Bake in a 400F oven for 20 minutes, until the squash are caramelized and golden brown.
With vegetables coming in at local markets, this seemed like the best recipe to kick start this blog.
Everyone that’s grown up in the south has experienced squash casserole. I personally have been eating them all of my life so when I set out to create my own version of a squash casserole, I knew what I liked about it and what I would like to change. My grandmothers both made wonderful squash casseroles but they were your typical style, starting with boiled squash and by the time the casserole was made it resembled mashed potatoes. The flavors were great, but the texture was never to my liking. I prefer the ingredients of my dishes stand on their own and I love summer squash, so I created this recipe. Not only is it easy to prepare, it’s praised by everyone that’s had it. It sells out every time I make it and I constantly have customers placing orders for whole casseroles they can serve at home.
4 cups squash, sliced
(I normally use 3 cups yellow squash to 1 cup zucchini)
1 large red onion, halved then sliced
1 cup mayonnaise
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed
1 tbsp butter, melted
Place squash and onion in a casserole dish with a lid, with 1/4 cup water. Cover and microwave for 4 minutes, or you can boil, but make sure the squash isn’t over cooked. You want it to resemble squash and not be mushy. Drain well.
In a large bowl combine the squash and onions, mayonnaise, sour cream, cheese, salt and pepper and blend well. If more “sauce” is needed, simply add more mayo and sour cream in equal amounts to get a soupy consistency.
Pour into a lightly greased casserole dish. Top with the crushed Ritz crackers and drizzle top with butter. Bake at 325F for 25-30 minutes or until casserole is golden and filling is “set” (not soupy when you wiggle the casserole dish).
The casserole can be pre-made and refrigerated for a couple of days before cooking. Simply leave off the cracker top until just before baking.