Sunday, September 11, 2011

Farm-Share Casserole

Yep, another Droid pic!

Okay, so sometimes - even with the "small" bi-weekly CSA deliveries - one can get kind of overwhelmed with veggies! Well, especially since my Garden has been generating MASSIVE quantities of produce (yes, mostly tomatoes).

So I've been having some significant "challenges" with fitting new-stuff into the fridge. And no, there are no "Science Projects" lurking in the back corners! Okay, there was one *starting* in the Crisper (Evidently one month is about the "max" you can hope for with those "Forever Bags" I was yammering about earlier)!

Annnnnywaaaaaayyyyy... I decided it was time to clear-out some veggies. And I needed to do it in a Big Way. (Well, big for DH and I). So I decided to make a "Jeez-it's-Time-to-Clean-Out-The-Fridge-Casserole." And, even though I'm not in marketing, I'm reasonably sure that's not a real good name for a recipe, so I've decided to call it my "Farm-Share-Casserole!"

QT's Farm-Share Casserole

Ingredients (adjust it to suit your needs / refrigerator contents)
  • 1-1/2 lbs summer squash - it could be ANY kind of squash. I happened to have Patty-Pans and Yellow Straight-necks.
  • 1 small- to medium-sized eggplant
  • 2 lbs skinned tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, grated
  • 2-3 cups fresh spinach
  • 1 stick of melted butter
  • 1 package (5 oz) garlic-butter croutons
  • 1 can condensed Cream of Chicken Soup
  • 8 oz sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 can of French-fried onions (or you could skip that)
  • Several "shakes" of McCormick Perfect Pinch "Salad Supreme" seasoning (or whatever suits you!)

Pre-heat oven to 375*F.

Slice/chop the squash and eggplant into decent-sized chunks (3/4" - 1") and dump them into a large bowl. Start heating a saucepan full of water. Finely chop the onion and mince the garlic cloves. Once the water starts boiling, use it to blanch your tomatoes (for easier peeling). I cut out the stem ends, then plopped 'em in the boiling water for appx 1 minute. Removed and peeled the tomatoes, and set 'em on a cutting board. Then I poured the hot water over the squash/eggplant chunks and left 'em to steep while I sauteed the onions and garlic in appx 1 tbs butter (to which I added a teeny bit of Olive Oil to prevent burning)...

While the onions/garlic were sauteeing on medium heat, I grated the carrots and chopped the tomatoes into smallish chunks (1/4-1/2") and held them on the cutting board.

Once the onions/garlic were well-cooked (transluscent and soft - but not brown), I dumped the bowl of hot water and squash/eggplant chunks back into the saucepan and turned the heat up to high. Tossed in a few shakes of seasoning. Let 'em cook til they were tender - probably about 10-15 minutes

Then I dumped the tomatoes/carrots/spinach into the now-empty bowl while the other veggies were cooking...

Once the squash and eggplant are fork-tender, remove from the stove and pour off the water. You *could* let 'em cool at this point. I chose to just dump 'em into my baking pan. I used a 9 x 12 x 2-1/2" disposable aluminum pan. I didn't feel like ransacking the cupboards to find my casserole dish, but I'm guessing you'd need a 2.5 quart (or bigger) casserole to cook this.

Next, I combined ALL the veggies in the baking dish. Threw in the Chicken Soup. Blorped in the Sour Cream. Added about 3/4 of the bag of cheddar cheese and half a bag of croutons. Drizzled-in the melted butter Mixed everything up real good. Tasted it. Added more Seasoning...

Topped it with French-Fried onions and the last of the cheese, then tossed it in the oven for an hour. About 10 mins before the end of cooking, it was starting to brown-up, so I put a sheet of aluminum foil on top - to keep it from burning.

It's done now and it is deeeeeee-lish!

Only thing is: It's a little runny. I suspect, if it were cold, the cheese would help solidify it, a bit. I think - next time - add some bread-crumbs or chopped crackers to the mix to give it a little more "body."

Not a bad way to dispose of overly-abundant Farm-Share fare!

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