Summer Squash and Zucchini

Zucchini, patty pan, globe and yellow/green squash are the varieties of summer squash (Cucurbita pepo) grown at the farm. The varieties offer slightly different tastes and textures, though summer squash varieties are, for the most part, interchangeable in recipes. Summer squash are the more tender, thin-skinned, shorter-lived relatives of the winter squash.

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

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
Set up a large pot of water, with enough room to fit in all of your whole squash. Salt the water and bring it to a boil. Carefully drop the squash in. Boil for 3 - 6 minutes, depending on the size of your squash. Drain and set aside. Over medium heat-high, warm up the olive oil. When the oil is hot enough, turn the heat down to low, and add the sliced garlic. Cook the garlic until it is tender, but stop before it browns. Slice squash lengthwise and in half if the squash is smaller, in length and into quarters if the squash is a bit bigger. Put on a plate and drizzle with the olive oil and garlic. Chop and lightly crush mint leaves with your fingers and sprinkle over the plate.

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.

filling ingredients

  • 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)
crust/topping ingredients

  • 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
In a sauce pan, over low-medium heat, combine the lemon juice and zucchini. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 20 minutes, until tender. Add the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Stir and cook for 1 more minute. Set filling aside. Heat the oven to 375. Grease a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Combine flour, sugar, and oats in a bowl. Cut in butter with a knife or a pastry cutter, or use your fingers to mix until the ingredients have combined to form coarse crumbs. Put the squash filling into the greased pan. Spread topping evenly over filling. Cook for 35 - 40 minutes, until golden.

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.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i cut patty pan squashes into quarters and grill 'em with a little oil. they are like little juicy nuggets when done! yum. thanks powisset.