With an abundance of zucchini in grocery stores, farmers’ markets, and home gardens, it’s time to pull out the casserole dishes and start slicing squash. And who better to call on for a recipe than Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa.
In her cookbook Barefoot in Paris, she offers one for Zucchini Gratin, a spin on a French dish that uses potatoes. Good move. Some recipes are versatile enough to work with a variety of fresh vegetables.
You’ll notice that the onions are cooked first and for about 20 minutes, just enough to get a bit of caramelization. That’s where the flavor comes in, so don’t short change that step.
More Decadent Than Ina’s
While Ina stripped much of the decadence from her recipe, I recall one from the ’60s that wreaked with artery-clogging goodness. Even so, the yellow squash recipe was a summertime delight. But when I looked recently, I couldn’t find my recipe anywhere. (It might come from having moved 6 times in the last two decades.) I could remember most of the ingredients—squash, onion, sour cream, carrots, cream of chicken soup, and water chestnuts all topped with a stuffing mix.
I googled the ingredients and found a number of variations on the old church supper favorite. This one for Squash Casserole seemed the closest to what I remembered. In a moment of nostalgia, I baked it in my old, ceramic dish with the blue flower on the side. The one I used years ago.
When I pulled it from the oven, I took one spoonful and had a flashback to summertime in the Sixties. Oh, how I miss those simple, halcyon days of yore. A time before social distancing, when we could sit closely around the kitchen table and bemoan our cholesterol levels, while downing a buttery, sour cream-laced casserole.