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Confetti Casserole


Easily made gluten-free

“Why don’t you just cook something that tastes really good?” This was Julia Reed’s mother talking, chiding her daughter, a writer of uncommon style and wit who used to contribute food essays and recipes to The New York Times Magazine, for spending too much time thinking about complicated, over-the-top recipes at the expense of simple, honest American cooking that draws compliments not because it looks amazing, but because it’s delicious. She then created her famous Summer Squash Casserole, which uses only yellow squash.

I had many different zucchinis and summer squashes from my garden, so I used a combination of them to make the casserole. The colorful squashes, along with 2 colors of bell peppers, produced a mixture that reminded me of confetti, so I christened it as “Confetti Casserole”. The name was also much more attractive to young, picky eaters than “Summer Squash Casserole”. Oh, and I made it gluten-free to accommodate a family member - still delicious!
Ingredients
2 pounds summer squash, mixed greens and yellows, cut into 1-inch slices
4 slices plain white bread, toasted (use gluten-free if desired)
77 grams Ritz-type crackers (use gluten-free if desired-I like Lance brand)
8 tablespoons butter, divided use
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and finely chopped (optional)
4 large eggs
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated
Steps
1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 21/2 quart baking dish.

2 Boil the squash in lightly salted water until tender, approximately 10 minutes. Drain well.

3 While squash is cooking, use a food processer to create coarse crumbs of the toasted bread. This will be the topping and should be somewhat chunky. Set aside.

4 Use the processor to pulverize the crackers into fine crumbs. Set aside.

5 Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and peppers and saute until just tender.

6 Puree the squash in the processor.

7 In a large mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, cream, salt, sugar and cayenne. Add the squash puree, the peppers and onions, the cheese and the crackers crumbs. Blend well and place in prepared baking dish.

8 Melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter and toss with bread crumbs. Spread over top of casserole and bake until browned, 40-50 minutes. Serve hot.


Yield
servings  use metric
original recipe yield: 8-10 servings

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