• Yield: 8 to 10 servings

  • Time: 20 minutes prep, 40 minutes cooking, 60 minutes total


  • 7 tablespoons butter

  • 2 pounds yellow summer squash

  • 1 large onion, chopped

  • 1 large garlic clove, chopped

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped

  • 1/2 green bell pepper, chopped

  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped, optional

  • 4 slices plain white bread, toasted

  • 24 Ritz crackers, crumbled in food processor

  • 1/2 pound sharp cheddar cheese, grated

  • 4 large eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 cup heavy cream

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a 2-1/2-quart baking dish. Cut the squash into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cook the slices in boiling, salted water until tender, about 10 minutes. Drain. Puree the squash in a food processor.

2. Melt 6 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and peppers and cook until just tender. Meanwhile, crumb the toast in a food processor, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter, and toss together with the bread crumbs.

3. Mix the squash puree, cracker crumbs, cheese, eggs, cream, sugar and seasonings. Blend well. Pour the puree into the baking dish, top with the bread crumbs, and bake until browned, about 40 minutes.

Reprinted with permission from Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns, and Other Southern Specialties: An Entertaining Life (with Recipes) by Julia Reed (St. Martin's Press, 2008). Copyright 2008 by Julia Reed.

Julia Reed is an author and writer. She is a contributing editor for Newsweek, where she writes the monthly “Food and Drink” column, and has written for Vogue, The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times, The Spectator and Southern Accents. She is the author of Queen of the Turtle Derby and Other Southern Phenomena, Ham Biscuits, Hostess Gowns and Other Southern Specialties and The House on First Street.