After an exhaustive search for a summer squash casserole recipe that does not call for heavy cream and cheese, I have hoisted the white flag. I officially surrender.
But to make the casserole a bit more interesting, I've added fresh bread crumbs made from one of Whole Foods' "Asiago Volcano" breads.
Otherwise this casserole seems to follow the usual pattern of squash plus onion plus cream plus eggs plus cheese. To my mind, we should make a concerted effort to have plenty of ways to prepare squash so we are not caught off guard when the deluge strikes.
I lifted this recipe from the Martha Stewart website and only adjusted it a little so that I could use the entire basket of Italian squash I've been accumulating on my kitchen counter. My Italian squash plants are not necessarily prolific, but the size of the squash is impressive. What I think is important is the initial cooking of the squash with salt to draw out the moisture. Otherwise, you might have a wet casserole.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut 2 pounds of squash (can be zucchini, yellow squash or a combination) into 1/2-inch slices. Peel and cut 1 large yellow onion into large dice. Place the squash and onion in a cook pot and cover with water. Add 1 tablespoon salt. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook until squash is tender. Drain into a colander and allow to cool.
In a large bowl, mix the cooked squash and onion with 1 cup fresh bread crumbs (cut part of a loaf and run it through the food processor); 3 large eggs, lightly beaten; 1 cup heavy cream, 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves; 1/2 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese (you'll need another 1/2 cup later); 1 teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon ground black pepper; dash cayenne pepper.
Pour the mixture into a greased casserole. Dust with more bread crumbs and another 1/2 cheddar cheese. Place in oven and cook until bread crumbs are lightly browned, about 30 minutes.
Serve this immediately with a chilled bottle of Chablis. Or, make it a day ahead and reheat it.