Squash and Fontina Casserole

The Arts & Living section of the Sunday News & Observer features a recipe each week. On this particular week I mentioned to Whitney that the featured squash and fontina casserole looked pretty good. Given that it was also a Vivian Howard (star of "A Chef's Life") recipe and we were somehow still getting summer squash from our CSA, it inevitably ended up on the meal plan the following week.

The only way I really like summer squash is when it is cooked long enough to release some of its water and start caramelizing. This recipe does just that and then bakes the squash with some herbs, cheese, and garlic, making for a delicious casserole (although I think the squash itself would be almost as good). Check out the link below for a little blurb from the N&O about the recipe. We served it with salmon and green beans.

Vivian Howard's Squash and Fontina Casserole
   Serves 10-12 (we halved)
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cornmeal
2 tbsp bacon fat (we used evoo)
4 medium yellow onion halved and sliced thin, about 4 cups
2 tbsp minced garlic
8-10 medium yellow squash or zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch rounds or half moons
3 tsp finely chopped fresh sage or 1 1/2 tsp dried sage (we used dried sage)
1 tsp finely chopped rosemary
3 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp ground black pepper
2 C grated Fontina, Swiss or white American cheese (we used Fontina)
1 large egg

   Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8-inch-by-8-inch casserole dish and dust the inside of the dish with cornmeal. Alternately, you could use six (6-ounce) ramekins and make individual casseroles.
   Heat bacon fat over medium heat in a 12-inch saute pan or cast iron skillet. Add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent. Add the squash, sage, rosemary, salt and black pepper. Stir it all to combine and cook over medium-high heat for about 25 minutes, checking periodically to make sure things aren’t sticking. You are looking for the squash to release all its liquid and begin to brown. Remove pan from the heat. While things are still steamy, stir in cheese. Allow the mixture to cool slightly. Then stir in the egg.
   Fill whatever vessel you choose three-fourths of the way with the squash mixture. Bake uncovered for 30 to 45 minutes for the large casserole, or 15 to 20 minutes for the small ones. Either way you’re looking for it to brown on top and around the edges. Serve warm.

This particular meal came together easily as we were able to just
shove everything in the oven at the same time


  1. Missed this recipe in the paper. Sounds good.

  2. Just made this exactly as printed and we also halved the recipe. This is a winner and will be made again for sure. Thank you!