Amanda Love's Cooking
Delicious, Healthy Seasonal Recipes
from the "The Barefoot Cook" August
Summer Squash in ALL of its Glory
Summer Squash is one of the most versatile of foods and thank goodness as it is so plentiful. If you have ever grown some you will know what I am talking about. I recall a story of some friends who once lived in Wyoming and swore if they did not lock their car door when they went out in their small town that they would come back to a car full of squash. A single plant can grow more squash than you could even possibly eat. So what to do with it you ask? Well, some must, of course, be sacrificed to the squash gods and the rest, well; hopefully you have an adventurous spirit in the kitchen.
If you are growing some in your garden, you are probably wondering what in the world to do with it all. I have seen some of my squash literally grow several inches in one day. In addition, if you let them go for too long, good luck as you’ll have a foot or more long squash on your hands. With several of these on one plant and more on the way, better figure out something to do with them! Well, here are some ideas that will make that neutral tasting plant interesting. And just for your information, the bigger the squash, the less interesting the flavor. Some recipe ideas I have not included here you may want to try finding on your own are squash muffins and sweet squash pudding. Yes, this delicious veggie is not only good in savory dishes, but sweet ones as well. You can use zucchini or yellow squash in any of these recipes. There are also many variations of summer squash such as patty pan squash, crookneck, chayote, zucchini and more. Enjoy! And to your health!
(Many of these recipes are just ideas and general guidelines to creating a certain dish. AKA figure it out yourself recipes!)
Medicinal Benefits: good for nerves, watery, alkalizing, expansive, cooling, rich in potassium
Variations on a Theme: Squash
Soup – Cream of Summer Squash
Ingredients: 2 Summer squash, 1onion, 1 T butter, 1 t salt, 2 T green chilis and 1t cumin, 2-4 cups homemade chicken broth
Simply sauté a sliced onion in butter, add sliced squash and sauté for 10 minutes or so until soft. Add salt and chicken broth. Stir in 2 tablespoons of green chilis and a pinch of cumin for a southwest flavor. Blend until smooth. Top with crème fraise.
Ingredients: 1 onion, 1 eggplant, 2 yellow squash, 2 zucchinis, 2 tomatoes, 4 garlic cloves, ½ t fennel, ½ teaspoon oregano, bunch of fresh basil, 2 T organic, cold pressed virgin olive oil
Simply slow sauté all these favorite large diced Italian veggies in olive oil over medium heat together until tender. Add plenty of spices and salt. Top with Parmesan. The aroma and taste will be heavenly.
Pasta Spirals tossed with Pesto or Marinara Sauce
Choose one of the unique contraptions, which can make actual pasta or long noodles with squash. What a great wheat or gluten free option for pasta. There are several squash pasta makers out there. You can always use a mandolin (though be careful as these have sliced many a finger) or look for one of the other devices that turn a squash into long skinny strips. Once you have made the noodles, simply toss with salt, olive oil, lemon zest and pesto. You could also blanch the noodles and toss then with heated marinara or red sauce.
Grilled Slices – slice large squash into rings or long slices, brush with olive oil and salt and grill until tender.
Sautéed – slice into whatever shape you like and sauté with butter and salt until tender
Summer Squash Parmesan – substitute squash for eggplant or use both.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Dip squash slices in beer, egg and flour batter and drop into pan. Fry until golden brown on both sides. Layer squash in a casserole dish with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese. Top with Parmesan and fresh basil; bake at 375 degrees until brown and bubbly.