With sunnier days, there comes more substantial sides... with main dishes like soups, stews and pot roasts no longer taking center stage.
And each year when one of the first of its bounty, my beloved summer squash, comes down in price, and goes up in quality… I know that Spring is just around the corner.
So, this week I decided to create a new take on an old classic, with a little more flavor and a lot more pizazz. I’ve been making the same squash casserole from an old Southern Living Magazine for years. And I will say that once you find perfection, you’d better not mess (much) with it.
Perfectly creamy and delicious, thanks to all that mayonnaise, cheese, and butter. Your typical squash casserole earns high marks in the tasty category, but when it comes to looks, it can fall flat. Yellow, blah, boring.
So, I decided to add some Boston bibb lettuce, also called butter lettuce, to not only spruce it up with interesting color and texture. But, to add in a few more vitamins and nutrients, to help… balance out all that butter.
And as I looked down the sale list and saw that cabbage was also listed, I thought I’d give it a shot in this dish. Adding a more complex flavor, and stretching your dollars even further, as cabbage is always a thrifty choice.
And besides, with St. Patrick ’s Day coming up in a week, this dish gives another side dish options to the same old corned beef and cabbage.
Boston Bibb, Cabbage and Yellow Squash Casserole
2 lb.s yellow squash, sliced
1/3 head cabbage, chopped into 1" chunks
4 Tblsp. butter
1/2 onion, chopped
2 large eggs, beaten
1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 c. mayonnaise
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. dried mustard
1 tsp. salt
Pepper, to taste
4-5 Boston Bibb lettuce leaves
Place squash and cabbage in a large skillet and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let cook 8-10 minutes or until just tender. Drain in a colander, making sure to get out all the water, and then pressing gently with paper towels to further dry.
Back to the same skillet (wipe out from the vegetable mixture), add in the butter and onion. Sauté over medium high heat for about five minutes, or until tender. Remove from heat and add in the squash and cabbage, cheese, eggs, mayonnaise, sugar, salt and dried mustard. Pour into a greased 11x7 casserole dish and set aside.
For the bibb lettuce, fill a medium pot half way with water and bring to a boil. Once boiling turn down to a gentle boil and add the leaves to quickly blanch them. After about 30 seconds, or once they are slightly softened (this will go very quick), remove with a spatula to help keep their shape and drain on a paper towel, making sure not to crowd them during the cooking process (you might need to do two batches). Pat dry and carefully lay over the squash casserole. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30-35 minutes or until set.
66 cents per serving
*Note: all costs are approximate due to regional sale prices, amounts needed just for this specific recipe, and ingredients on hand. This recipe was created to utilize sale ingredients listed for the current week in Raleigh, NC stores.
For more recipes, couponing tips and matchups, head on over to WRAL's SmartShopper Blog, where I'll be contributing weekly recipes that are fun, flavorful, and frugal.