Monday, August 3, 2009

Summer Time means Summer Squash

Well folks, we are in the peak of summer, and many of you have probably noticed that summer squash is also peaking as they pile up in your weekly CSA share or at your local farmers' market. It is easy to turn to the usual steamed or sauteed squash dish each night with dinner, but it can be equally easy to use them in a completely new and unique way with nearly the same ingredients and time. Because squash are so plentiful and popular in the US, a quick internet search of "summer squash recipes" will yield thousands of results. I personally use the Food Network site as my go-to recipe finder, but there are many other websites out there, and I highly suggest searching around for your own favorite. Here are a few squash and zucchini recipes that I love to get you started. Happy hunting!

Summer Squash Soup with Basil
courtesy of Food Network's Curtis Aikens
fresh basil, julienned
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/4 pounds summer squash of any variety, roughly chopped
1 large onion, chopped
6 cups vegetable stock*
1/2 cup basil, julienned
1 1/2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 tablespoons flour
Salt and pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Sour cream or plain yogurt, optional
*I sometimes add a 1/2 cup or so of cream in place of that same amount of stock to help give it a thicker, creamier texture

Directions: Heat the oil in a large saucepan or stockpot, add zucchini and onion. Saute for 5 minutes or until onions are translucent and zucchini is crisp tender. Then add stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat and partially cover and cook for 25 minutes. Add basil during the last 5 minutes of cooking. Mix the butter and flour together into a paste. Remove 1 cup of simmering stock and whisk in butter mixture until smooth. Add back into soup, stir until thickened. Remove soup from heat to a blender and puree until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Add lemon juice and serve with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt. Serve with toasted sourdough bread, if desired.

Summer Squash Pancakes
courtesy of's Diana Rattray

3 cups grated summer squash
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 large egg
1 cup biscuit mix
Pepper, just a dash or to taste
milk as needed

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add enough milk as necessary to make a thin pancake-like batter. Drop by spoonfuls onto hot oiled griddle or skillet. Turn over when bottom is golden and cook until browned on both sides. Serve with butter, sour cream, or any desired topping.

Zucchini "Pizza"
courtesy of's Diana Rattray

3 cups zucchini, grated
3 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup flour
salt, to taste
2 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup black olives, chopped
1/2 green onions, finely chopped
1/2 artichoke hearts or pickled peppers, finely chopped
jalapeno peppers, optional
1 tablespoon fresh oregano (1 teaspoon if using dried)
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh basil (1/2 teaspoon if using dried)
3 to 4 tomatoes, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions: Generously butter a 9x13-inch baking pan. Preheat oven to 450°. Put grated zucchini in a colander and press out as much excess liquid as possible. Put zucchini in a mixing bowl. Add well-beaten eggs, flour and salt. Mix well and spread in buttered pan. Bake in a 450° oven for 8 minutes. Remove pan and reduce oven temperature to 350°. Cover the zucchini base with cheese. Combine ripe olives, onion, and chopped pickled peppers. Spread over cheese. Arrange jalapeno pepper rings over top. Sprinkle with fresh or dried herbs. Arrange tomatoes on top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake at 350°, uncovered, for 25 minutes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Go to the link below to find a great recipe AND demo on how to cook those sweet potato greens!