Summer squash blossoms
No matter how well we try to plan our garden, we always end up with a superabundance of summer squash. Our go-to cooking method is saute them with onion in a bit of olive oil. Sometimes we throw in some basil to punch things up. But after awhile, we yearn for something a little different. From side dish to main course to dessert, here are some different ways we’ve prepared zucchini and yellow summer squash this year.
Roasted Baby Summer Squash
This is about as easy as it gets. Select young squash for this recipe, the smaller the better. Harvesting squash when they’re especially young and tender has the added benefit of reducing your squash overabundance. To dress this recipe up a little, add a small mound of grated Parmesan cheese on each squash half.
- baby summer squash
- olive oil
- other seasonings of your choice (optional): basil, oregano, minced garlic
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Slice desired number of squash lengthwise.
- Place sliced squash in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with seasonings.
- With a spatula or wooden spoon, carefully stir until all pieces are coated.
- Place squash, cut side up, on a parchment-covered baking sheet.
- Roast for 20 to 30 minutes.
Easy Squash Casserole
When each day's harvest yields more than a dozen squash, it's time to think big. This casserole dish uses up some of that superabundance.
If you have more squash than you can handle, freeze a few batches. This recipe is a good way to use frozen squash, perhaps for a hefty holiday side dish. Of course, you can also make it right now with straight-from-the-garden fresh squash.
- 6 cups summer squash, sliced into coins approximately ¼ inch thick
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 Tbsp flour or potato starch
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cloves minced garlic, optional
- 2 tsp dried sage or basil, optional
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1-2 cups grated cheese of your choice
- 1 sleeve buttery crackers, crumbled
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and lightly oil 2-quart backing dish.
- Saute squash and onion in large pan until tender.
- Remove from heat and set aside.
- Melt butter in small saucepan.
- Reduce heat to low and whisk in flour until well mixed.
- Gradually whisk in milk.
- Cook and stir until thickened.
- Stir in seasonings of choice.
- Mix sauce into squash-onion mixture.
- Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
- Sprinkle grated cheese over mixture and crumble crackers on top.
- Bake 35 to 40 minutes.
Mom’s Oven-Fried Squash
If you love fried squash (and who doesn’t?) but you want to avoid the calories and messiness involved with frying, try this recipe I got from my mom. Yield: 4 servings.
- 2 medium zucchini or yellow squash, sliced into 1/4 inch thick coins
- 2 Tbsp Italian salad dressing
- 3 Tbsp dried bread crumbs
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In medium bowl, coat squash with dressing.
- Combine crumbs and cheese in a plastic bag, add squash, seal, and shake vigorously.
- Arrange squash in a single layer on parchment-covered baking pan.
- Bake on middle oven rack for 6 to 8 minutes, turning once.
- Place under broiler for a minute to crisp.
Rosemary-Lemon Zucchini Bread
Blink and a zucchini will quadruple in size. When that happens, grate it, squeeze out extra moisture, and freeze in recipe-size batches for winter baking. I’ve slightly altered this recipe I found on the no longer active FarmgirlFare blog. Good for snacking, a light breakfast, or an addition to any other meal.
Yield: 2 loaves
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 Tbsp minced fresh rosemary
- 2 Tbsp lemon zest
- 1 pound or 3 cups zucchini, grated
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, melted
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- Heat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans.
- Combine first seven ingredients in large bowl.
- If grated zucchini is extremely moist, squeeze some of the liquid out with your hands. Be careful not to squeeze out all the liquid.
- With rubber spatula or wooden spoon, mix grated zucchini into flour mixture.
- In small bowl, whisk together eggs, melted butter, and both sugars until well combined.
- Fold wet mixture into the dry mix just enough to moisten.
- Divide batter evenly between the loaf pans.
- Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center of loaves comes out clean.
- Let pans cool 10 to 15 minutes, then turn loaves onto wire rack and let cool completely.
- Store in airtight containers. Can be frozen for later use.
I wouldn’t have believed it if I hadn’t tried it myself, but this delicious dessert recipe from my cousin is reminiscent of apple or rhubarb cobbler, depending on the amount of lemon juice added.
- 4 cups peeled, chopped zucchini
- Lemon juice (2/3 cup for rhubarb taste; 1/3 cup for a more apple-y flavor)
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup white sugar
- 3/4 cup butter, chilled and cut into cubes
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Lightly oil 8-by-8-inch baking dish.
- In large saucepan over medium heat, cook and stir zucchini and lemon juice until tender, 15 to 20 minutes.
- Stir in remaining filling ingredients and cook for another minute. Remove from heat.
- Combine dry mix in large mixing bowl.
- Use a pasty blender or potato masher to cut in butter until mixture is consistency of coarse crumbs.
- Divide into two equal parts.
- Add half of dry mix to zucchini mix and stir well.
- Press half of remaining dry mix into bottom of baking dish to make bottom crust.
- Evenly spread zucchini mixture into baking dish.
- Sprinkle remaining dry mix over the top.
- Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until top is lightly browned. Serve warm or cold.
Carole Coates is a gardener and food preservationist, family archivist, essayist, poet, photographer, and modern homesteader. You can follow her Mother Earth News blog posts here. You can also find Carole at Living On the Diagonal where she shares her take on life, including modern homesteading, food preparation and preservation, and travel as well random thoughts and reflections, personal essays, poetry, and photography. She is the author of Boyhood Daze and Other Stories: Growing Up Happy During the Great Depression and Blackberries and Biscuits: Life and Times of a Smoky Mountain Girl.
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