Advocate-tested recipe

Squash Casserole

Serves 6 to 8. Recipe is from “Mastering the Art of Southern Vegetables” by Nathalie Dupree and Cynthia Graubart (Gibbs Smith, Publisher). Variation: Omit the peppers and hot sauce if a more subtle, richer casserole is desired.

11/4 cups butter, divided

2 medium onions, chopped

1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 pounds yellow crookneck or zucchini squash, sliced

2 cups grated sharp Cheddar cheese or Gruyère, divided

4 large eggs, beaten to mix

11/2 cups chopped pecans, divided

Hot sauce or Tabasco, optional

1 cup bread crumbs or panko

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a large casserole dish and set aside.

2. Melt ¼ cup of the butter in a large skillet and sauté the onions and peppers until soft. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute, then set aside.

3. Bring to the boil a pot filled with enough water to cover the squash, and add the squash. Cook until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain and return squash to the pot. Mash the squash until thoroughly broken into small pieces. Add ½ cup butter, 1 cup cheese, eggs, onion mixture, and 1 cup pecans. Season to taste with hot sauce, and stir well to mix.

4. Move mixture into the prepared casserole dish. Combine the bread crumbs with the remaining cheese and pecans. Spread evenly over squash mixture. Dot with remaining ½ cup butter and bake 45 to 60 minutes, until bubbly. Serve hot. This dish can be made ahead several days, covered and refrigerated, or frozen. Defrost before reheating.