This week we are talking about summer squash! I figure mid-July is late enough in the year to examine this fruit – that is often treated as a vegetable!
First off, there are many many different items that are loosely classified as ‘summer squash.’ There are zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan squash, tromboncino…. The list goes on & on! For the most part, all of them can be used the same way & are part of the Cucurbita pepo family. (Thank you Wikipedia!)
Photos of some small summer squash we found while in Montreal last week visiting the Jean-Talon Marche.
Our local farmers are all selling various summer squash now. We got some amazing zucchini and yellow squash from River to River Farm this week at the Canon Park Market. They were also selling patty squash.
Interestingly enough, (thanks Wikipedia again) summer squash are really just under-ripe winter squash varieties. These particular varieties typically have softer outer ‘skins’ which can typically be eaten raw or cooked.
This is a favorite method of ours. Wash your squash, cut off the ends (typically a stem is on one end), then slice the squash into bite sized pieces. We often slice them into ‘half moons’ (usually with zucchini or yellow squash) – to do this, take the squash, cut it lengthwise to end up with two long pieces, then slice the squash up the length of the fruit. You end up with little pieces looking like half moons.
From there, put some olive oil in a warm skillet, let the oil warm up, and toss the squash in! Let them heat up some – you will notice them starting to sweat a bit and change size/color a bit.
To spice this up, add some garlic (before you cook them) or really any spices you like.
I feel like we grill a lot of vegetables! But, summer squash grills really well too! On Tuesday, at our weekly grill-out, we grilled up some zucchini. We had cut them long wise, marinated them in olive oil and salt/pepper. As a reminder, grilled zucchini (especially cut thicker like I sometimes do) takes a lot longer to grill than you might expect, and if they’re in strips they can slip between the bars on the grill.
In this photo you see the zucchini, some red peppers, and some local beef sausages from Josh at Lick Creek Beef.
Prepare the same way you did the sautéed squash & steam instead!
We also put squash in a wide variety of dishes. Today, we put some zucchini in a recipe of Dal that we had for lunch. It was dal-icious!
How do you like your summer squash? What recipes do you put it in?