Aren’t we awash in squash? They say that if you can grow anything, you can grow squash, and my experience has borne that out. This is our first year having a vegetable garden, we planted one squash plant on purpose, and now I am pulling a full-grown squash off every other day or so. Not to mention “donations” of zucchini and pattypan squash from gardening neighbors.
The term summer squash refers to any squash with an edible skin. This includes zucchini and yellow crookneck squash (also called just “summer squash”), as well as pattypan squash, globe squash, scallopini and chayote, and a host of other varieties. That last one is used a lot in Mexican cooking, but unlike the others, it should be peeled before cooking and can’t be eaten raw.
We got our squash plant from the farmer’s market. It is a type of yellow squash called “zephyr.” I like it because it has a sweeter flavor than ordinary crookneck squash and a nifty two-tone finish (see the photo).
Summer squash keeps well, up to 5 days in the refrigerator. One medium squash or 1 cup sliced equals one serving. Because summer squash has such a high water content, I think they taste best when cooked over a high heat. We’ve all had those diet platters that feature watery, unappealing, steamed squash. Please, keep squash out of the steamer.
Instead, slice them up thick and broil or grill them for about 10 minutes. A little olive oil, salt and pepper, plus any kind of fresh herb to finish, are all you need to season them.
Summer squash also do well sautéed in butter or olive oil. To make them brown better, slice them into rounds, sprinkle with coarse salt and let them drain in a colander for 30 minutes before sautéing. This will drive a lot of the water out. Be sure to wipe the salt off before cooking.
If you’re like me, you may be inundated by so many squash this summer that you’ll come up with many unique ways of preparing them. Here are a few recipes from the blogs that looked particularly interesting:
- Bengali-style Summer Squash (Tigers & Strawberries)
- Early Summer Tian (Figs Olives Wine)
- Summer Squash with Goat Cheese & Romesco (Food Wishes)