Summer squash is primarily composed of water...about 94 percent! They are a good source of calcium and potassium, and vitamins A and C. Slice up raw summer squash and serve with hummus or other dips. Chop and toss into a quick summer tomato sauce to add texture and chunkiness. Summer squash are also great sliced in half lengthwise, brushed with a bit of oil, and thrown on the grill for a few minutes.
Though the smaller to mid-sized summer squash are prized for their tenderness and taste, the larger ones are also useful and flavorful. Don't be afraid! If you cut a larger squash open and find the seeds and skin are a bit too tough, then remove seeds and grate it for squash bread, use in a fritatta, or stuff and bake the hollow shell with something yummy. Freezing grated summer squash for making a zucchini bread in the winter is also a good trick for quickly making use of this super-abundant summer treat.
For optimal storage, be sure to handle your summer squash somewhat delicately. The less bruising and scratching they are exposed to, the longer they will last in your fridge. They keep fairly well in plastic bags, though they typically last no longer than a week at best.
Easy Squash Boats
(yummy kid pleaser!)
adapted from rachaelraymag.com
4 zucchini or summer squash, cut in half length-wise
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
5 small tomatoes, chopped
1 cup bread crumbs
1 and 1/2 teaspoon fresh herbs, chopped
salt and pepper
6 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 375°. Scoop out the squash flesh, leaving a 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick shell. Wrap the flesh in a paper towel and squeeze out any excess liquid. Place the shells cut side down on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat. Add the squash flesh and onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Push the vegetables to the side of the pan, add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the bread crumbs, and toast the bread crumbs for 2 minutes. Add salt and pepper and any chopped fresh herbs. Flip over the squash shells and line the bottoms with the mozzarella. Pack in the filling. Sprinkle the parmesan on top. Bake until the zucchini is tender when pierced with a fork, 20 to 25 minutes.
Poached Zucchini/Summer Squash with Garlic and Mint
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 5-6 small to medium sized zucchini/summer squash, whole (consistency in size is most important here)
- 3 - 5 garlic cloves
- 8 - 12 mint leaves (any mint is fine)
- salt and pepper to taste
Adapted from unplugged kitchen, by Viana La Place
Mock Apple Cobbler
This is a great way to use extra summer squash. It is very fun to serve at a summer gathering. Most folks can never guess that this sweet treat is made from what is usually considered to be a savory vegetable.
- 8 cups/3 lbs uniformly chopped summer squash/zucchini (seeded and peeled if from a very large squash)
- 2/3 cup lemon juice
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons ground frozen ginger root (this is a great way to store ginger and makes it very easy to grate)
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup quick oats
- 1 - 2 cups sugar
- 1.5 cups cold butter, cut into small pieces (leave in fridge until ready to use)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
Grilled Zucchini and Summer Squash Salad with basil-parmesan dressing
- 4 medium-large zucchini, trimmed, halved lengthwise
- 4 medium-large yellow crookneck squash, trimmed, halved lengthwise
- 5 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
- 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (about 1 ounce)
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Place zucchini and crookneck squash on large baking sheet; brush all over with 3 tablespoons oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables until tender and brown, turning occasionally, about 10 minutes. Transfer to plate and cool.
Cut vegetables diagonally into 1-inch-wide pieces. Place in large bowl. Add basil, Parmesan cheese, balsamic vinegar and remaining 2 tablespoons oil and toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.from epicurious.com