This is my 1st year to have our very own garden. We were having great luck with or zucchini and yellow squash plants, until we had a squash leaf fungus float into our yard. I was able to kill the fungus with a spray of 9:1 parts water and milk. After that I cut out the affected parts and sprayed the healthy parts with 1 tsp baking soda to 4 cups of water. This will make the leaf surface too acidic for fungus to thrive. Everything looks to be growing back healthy now, so hopefully we’ll have more squashes soon! We were happy to harvest these right before the mess.
The zucchini was seriously the size of my forearm! I made three loaves of bread with 1/2 of it.
Last week we had an unseasonably cool day. I was craving comfort food and my brother-in-law, who is a vegetarian, was coming over later so I decided to make a casserole. One of his favorite dishes is green bean casserole. You know that dish that is a thanksgiving dinner requirement, with the crispy onions on top? Yeah, that one! Well my mom has a zucchini stuffing casserole recipe that I decided to play around with. This is what I came up with. If you think ‘eww ick’ after the green bean casserole comparison, trust me, this is good! You can use a can of cream of mushroom soup, but homemade is much better! If you choose to use canned soup, you will need to also add a 1/2-3/4 cup of milk. The soup may be made ahead of time and split into to portions. It can be refrigerated for a few days or frozen for a few months! You’ll notice that I use yellow squash with my zucchini in the casserole. I had it on hand and needed to use it. If you only have zucchini, that’s fine. If you have other summer squashes on hand, those will work nicely too!
First for the soup;
Cream of Mushroom Soup
5 cups sliced fresh mushrooms
1 small chopped onion
2 Tbs olive oil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 cup heavy cream*
1/2 c milk*
In a large heavy saucepan, sauté mushrooms, onion and thyme in olive oil until tender, about 10 minutes. Add vegetable broth and simmer for an additional 10 minutes.
In blender or food processor, puree the mixture. I poured mine into a Pyrex bowl and buzzed with my immersion blender. Don’t purée it to fine, you want to see some of those mushroom chucks. Set aside.
In the saucepan, melt the butter, whisk in the flour until smooth. Cook flour until it’s a sandy color and smells nutty. Add the salt, pepper. Slowly whisk in the milk and cream mixture. Stir in vegetable puree. Stirring constantly, bring soup to a boil and cook until thickened. Adjust seasonings to taste.
*you could use 1 cup of soy milk in this. Additional thinking time may be needed.
And now for the Casserole;
1 sleeve ritz crackers, crushed
1/3 cup melted butter
1 Tbs olive oil
1 medium sliced zucchini
1 small yellow squash
1 carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
2 cups cream of mushroom soup (see additional recipe)
1/2 cup sour cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Melt butter, crush crackers and combine the 2 in a small bowl. Set aside.
Slice squashes into 1/8-1/4 inch slices and set aside.
In a medium sauté pan cook onion, celery and carrot on medium/low heat until tender, about 9 minutes. Add in garlic and continue to cook for a couple minutes.
In a medium bowl combine the sliced squashes, cooked onion mixture, sour cream and soup with 1/2 of the crushed crackers. Adjust seasoning if needed. Spread in a 9 x 13 casserole dish and sprinkle the remaining crackers over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 50 minutes. Remove foil and continue to bake for an additional 5-7 minutes. Casserole should be bubbly and golden brown on top. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving, unless you like a burned tongue.