GINNA PARSONS: Squash tarts in contention for big day

GINNA PARSONS

GINNA PARSONS

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned we were getting ready to do our “run-up-to-Thanksgiving” meal. Well, that still hasn’t happened. Preparing for a vacation, taking said vacation and then recuperating from the trip took a bit more time and energy than I had anticipated.

Though we haven’t actually cooked a bird yet, we have been making side dishes here and there. One that we made last week was particularly good.

First, let me say squash isn’t a dish we usually put on the Thanksgiving table. In fact, I didn’t even eat cooked squash until about 15 years ago when my mother-in-law introduced me to her squash casserole recipe. Thanks to her, I actually look forward to eating squash now.

This recipe is very similar to her casserole, only you prepare it in little tart shells and top it with bacon. It turned out beautifully and the little tarts add interest and color to the dinner plate, not to mention an incredible flavor. It’s hard to go wrong with a bacon topping, but you may leave it off if you wish.

I’m not sure if this will make the cut come Nov. 28, but I know we will be making these again.

On another note, I’d like to thank all of you who responded to my plea a few weeks ago. Cook of the Week nominations have been pouring in and, so far, no one has turned me down when I’ve called. I appreciate your help in continuing to make this long-running weekly feature a success.

Squash Tarts

1 pound yellow squash, sliced

1⁄2 cup chopped onion

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup water

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 stick butter

1⁄3 cup sour cream

1 package 2-inch tart shells, unbaked

1⁄4 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1⁄4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1⁄4 cup cooked and crumbled bacon (optional)

Paprika for sprinkling

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place sliced squash and onion in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add chicken broth, water and salt. Bring to a boil and cook until squash is tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and mash. Add butter and sour cream, stirring to mix.

Place tart shells on a large cookie sheet. Spoon the mixture into the tart shells. In a small bowl mix the Cheddar cheese and Parmesan cheese together. Divide between the tarts. If using bacon, sprinkle over the cheese. Sprinkle with paprika. Bake for 30 minutes or until the squash is bubbly and the cheese is lightly browned.

Makes 8 servings.

Ginna Parsons is the Daily Journal’s food/home/garden editor.