About this time of year everyone starts making the summer squash jokes about trying to get rid of the excess. If you grow vegetables then you probably know that this is one of the most prolific plants you can put in your home garden.
After a month or so of eating summer squash for breakfast, lunch, and dinner you are probably among the plethora of people that spend hours surfing the Internet in search of new ways to use up the produce that is quickly overflowing the vegetable bin. This easy dish may be the recipe that makes you long for crookneck squash season all year long.
It isnâ€™t really a soufflÃ© â€“ it is a Southern style, savory custard. Unlike a soufflÃ©, this dish is easy to make and you can serve it hot or at room temperature. Creamy and delicate with just a touch of kick from the chilies, it goes well as a side dish with almost anything from grilled steak to fried chicken. It stores well so you can make it ahead of time and warm it up or keep the leftovers for lunch the next day.
Feel free to add chopped, sautÃ©ed onion, shredded cheddar cheese, your favorite fresh herb, or sautÃ©ed bell pepper to the mix.
Summer Squash Pudding Recipe
- 4 medium yellow or crookneck squash, stem ends removed
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1 -4 ounce can chopped chilies
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Panko crumbs, optional
- White pepper to taste (use white pepper or you will have dark spots in the pudding.)
- Preheat oven to 375 F.
- Cut the squash in quarters.
- Boil quartered squash in water until softened. This should take about 5 minutes at most.
- Drain it very well.
- Transfer the drained squash to food processor or blender and puree.
- Measure out 2- 1/2 cups of the puree. Save any leftover puree for soup – it freezes well.
- Add the remaining ingredients to puree and mix until smooth.
- Pour into a greased 9 inch square casserole.
- Top with Panko bread crumbs if desired. You can use any bread crumbs but the Panko stays crispier.
- Place the casserole in a larger casserole dish and pour hot water in the larger dish Â so that it goes halfway up the sides of the smaller one.
- Bake for 50 minutes or until firm.
- Allow to cool for about 5 minutes before serving.
Serves 8 -10
If you will be taking this to a family picnic or potluck, it is fun to bake it in small, 4 or 8 ounce Mason jars with lids. Each jar makes one serving.
Spray the insides of the jars with cooking spray and spoon in the squash mixture. Place the jars in a pan and fill it with hot water until the water comes halfway up the sides of the jars. Bake for 25 minutes and check to see if it is done.
Allow the jars to cool down a little before serving. If you are taking the dish to a picnic screw on the lids tightly and they are ready to go.
photo credit: Marye Audet