When did summer become winter?
More than a few people – whether southern natives or transplants from cooler climes – have stated that they feel trapped inside by heat indexes. We find ourselves scurrying from home to office to car as if the hounds of hell are on our heels.
I’m guilty of drinking my morning coffee on the deck and then retreating inside for the rest of the day, only to venture forth when the dogs have to go out. And they didn’t get a lot of long walks this summer. They spent much of it on the couch with me, while I binge watched the entire seven seasons of The West Wing I somehow managed to miss on its first go-round.
This inactivity (coupled with my lack of enthusiasm for smelly gyms) has made me a little cranky and flabby. So, you can bet that with the first whiff of coolness, I and thousands like me will probably hurt ourselves in our eagerness to get moving outdoors again.
Until then, cooking light with the continuing abundance of fruits and vegetables is still a high priority. OK, by light, I mean not as much cheese and meat. Or, actually, not as much meat. Less cheese is never an option around here.
I did change up our squash casserole dish this summer. No eggs, cheddar, or long cooking time. It comes out flat and crispy and cooks in half the time. Part-skim mozzarella and a creamy blue cheese, like Saga blue or Cambozola give the yellow crooknecks a savory boost.
It is versatile enough to handle other throw-ins, like mushrooms or tomatoes. But if you do decide to toss these in, you will have to saute the mushrooms or roast the tomatoes first. Otherwise, they will add too much moisture to the dish.
Quick Pan Squash
Serves 4 as main dish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
4 cups yellow squash, sliced into thin rounds
1 medium sweet onion, diced
6 oz. soft brie/blue cheese, like Saga or Cambozola
1 Tbsp. dried thyme
cracked pepper to taste
6 oz. part-skim mozzarella, shredded
Layer squash evenly in a 9×13 casserole dish. Sprinkle onions on top. Dot the casserole with small pieces of the soft cheese. Sprinkle with thyme and pepper and cover with shredded mozzarella.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until cheese is brown.