Recipes: 01.10.19

Seasons by the Sea: Eating, Drinking, Talking Food

Nancy Peterkin’s Summer Squash Casserole

This recipe is adapted from “Julia Reed’s South: Spirited Entertaining and High Style Fun All Year Long.” It’s a bit of work for such a seemingly simple dish, but it is the best squash casserole I’ve ever tried.

Serves 8 to 10.


8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter, plus more for greasing the baking dish

2 lbs. yellow summer squash, washed, trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch slices

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 red bell pepper, seeded, cored, chopped

1 jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped

1 large onion, chopped

4 slices plain white bread, like Pepperidge Farm, toasted

24 Ritz crackers, ground into crumbs

1/2 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, grated

4 large eggs, beaten

1/2 cup heavy cream

1 tsp. sugar

1 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (I used a few dashes of hot sauce instead)


Preheat oven to 350. Butter a two-and-a-half-quart baking dish and set aside.

Pulse the squash slices in a food processor until they are chopped fairly finely. You may have to do this in batches.

Melt six tablespoons of butter in large deep skillet over medium heat. Add squash and sauté for about five minutes. Add garlic, red pepper, jalapeño, and onion. Continue sautéing until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.

Crumb the toasted bread, not too finely, in bowl of food processor (I just smash them in a sturdy Ziploc bag). Melt remaining two tablespoons butter in a small saucepan and toss with the crumbs.

Place the squash mixture, cracker crumbs, and cheddar cheese in a large bowl, and mix well. Stir in the beaten eggs, cream, sugar, salt, and cayenne. Blend well and pour into prepared baking dish. Top with buttered breadcrumbs and bake approximately 40 minutes, until crumbs are golden brown.


Bacon-Wrapped Watermelon Pickles 

I have not tried this recipe yet, but it sounds like something people will chase after at a cocktail party. This is also from Julia Reed’s “South” cookbook.

Makes 20 hors d’oeuvres.


1 10-oz. jar sweet pickled watermelon rind (like Haddon House or Old

South brands)

10 slices bacon, cut in half (use cheap, thin sliced bacon, like Oscar Meyer)


Preheat oven to 375. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

Drain watermelon pickle in medium mesh colander. Roll each piece of bacon around a piece of pickled rind and secure with toothpick. Place assembled pickles on baking sheet. Bake until bacon is well browned, about 20 minutes. Serve.