Summer Squash Time of Year

| 7/10/2011 10:40:47 PM

summer squashLuckily this prolific producer is very versatile. If you can steer clear of the Squash Vine Borer and keep the squash bugs at bay you shouldn't have any problem growing a thriving and producing summer squash bush. There are many tasty varieties, though they are all similar in texture and taste. Every summer we grow zucchini, yellow straight-necks and patty-pans. Sometimes we grow different varieties of zucchini, yellow crook-necks, and this year my mom is trying out an Italian zucchini. We have found that the quality of yellow squash can vary, so it pays to buy your seed from a good source. Characteristics that I do not like to see in my yellow squash is a hard bumpy skin (rendering the squash almost gourd like), a dark yellow skin (which can be tough), or narrow necks with pot-bellied bodies (full of seed with little to eat).

When it comes to eating summer squash it is fun to get creative and consider all the options. It is good fried, grilled, baked, steamed and even combined with other foods. Here are a few recipes I like.

Fried Squash 

Thinly slice (1/8”) summer squash (my favorite is yellow) and dredge the slices in a mix of half cornmeal, half flour, and a little salt and pepper. Pan fry one layer at a time in a large iron skillet with about ¼” of oil. Keep turning until golden brown on both sides (and as crispy as you prefer). Place cooked squash on a paper towel to soak up extra oil and serve hot! Fried squash is an old fashioned side dish. Growing up mom would make fried squash as an accompaniment to any good meal. I think it would be great with a cucumber dressing or even with some fresh salsa.

Squash Saute 

Fill a skillet with sliced onion or shallots and let them cook and caramelize. Then, add either chunks or slices of any and all kinds of summer squash and cook till soft. Hike up the heat a little at the end so the extra liquid cooks out and everything gets a little brown, sprinkle with some seasoned salt and you've got another savory side! Summer squash is also a good add-in to any vegetable stir-fry.

Sherry Leverich Tucker
7/18/2011 9:53:51 AM

Sonny - is the Butternut Squash that you are referring to a winter squash? Are they to be picked immature and used like a summer squash instead of maturing into a ripened winter squash, or is this a different summer squash variety? Just curious! Christine - I hope that others will comment about patty-pans. I have had trouble knowing how to prepare them other than mixing them with other summer squash. They are a little firmer texture and a milder flavor. I know of people who prefer them for grilling, maybe because they are firmer and stand up better on a grill. And, Jamie Lynn - thank you so much for the yummy recipe. What a great idea with the ribboned squash...and I'm with you; the more garlic the better!! I'm going to make this one for supper today - maybe serve it over some buttered linguine? Thanks!

Jamie Lynn Boyd
7/14/2011 8:49:20 PM

Great article! Wanted to share a quick recipie that I like to make when summer sqush seems to rain down upon our heads here at home. Using a vegetable peeler, slice lengthwise down the squash, creating wide, ultra thin ribbons. Saute them until tender in a pan with butter and fresh grated garlic (or use garlic powder - gotta get it in there somehow, we LOVE our garlic),and then add the salt and parmesan. I use the salt sparingly - parmesan is naturally salty, so wait to add any additional salt until after adding the parmesan and doing a little taste test (benefit of being the cook!) Best served piping hot.

7/13/2011 11:33:20 AM

What do you do with your patty pan squash? These are overabundant in our area, and I would like to learn to make use of them!

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