Lemon Squash and Italian Zucchini, Photo by Sheryl Campbell
Summer is in full swing and your summer squash plants are producing prolifically. What you need are some quick and simple recipes that use lots of squash, yet tempt the taste buds of the pickiest eater. You need Crunchy Baked Lemon Squash, Green and Yellow, Coconut Zucchini Bread, and Stuffed Vegetable Tortillas.
Let’s start with the squash. Not all zucchini or yellow squash are equal. The only two summer squash I grow are Zucchino Rampicante (Italian Zucchini) and Lemon Squash. Both are available from Baker Creek Seeds. I chose these two for their mild flavor, tenderness, and sweetness. Both are resistant to squash bug infestation, and both grow well without much attention.
I grow the zucchini next to a garden fence and let its strong vines support the light green fruit in the air. This gives me straighter fruit which is easier to slice for cooking. The lemon squash I plant several times in two-plant sets so that I have a continuous supply but can rip out older, leggy plants.
Crunchy Baked Lemon Squash, Photo by Sheryl Campbell
Crunchy Baked Lemon Squash
This recipe came out of desperation one summer when I had squash overflowing the counter and the refrigerator. The round shape of the Lemon Squash gives perfect slices ready to coat with savory dressing and crunchy topping.
- 4 Lemon Squash, cut into ¼ inch rounds
- 4 T. creamy Italian dressing (we use Olive Garden original)
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 6 T. seasoned panko bread crumbs
- Spicy dipping sauce (I recommend Marie’s Chipotle Ranch Dressing or Hickory Farms Sweet Hot Mustard)
- Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Place squash in a zipped plastic bag. Add salad dressing, seal, and shake well. Open the bag and add the cheese and panko. Seal, and toss lightly to coat.
- Arrange coated squash slices in a single layer on the papered pan. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden. Serve with dipping sauce.
Green Beans, Photo by Vu Doan on Pixabay
Green and Yellow
This recipe self-describes as it includes many things both green and yellow. It’s a great way to bring together the flavors of your vegetables and herbs from the summer garden.
- 4 Lemon Squash, sliced thinly
- 1 quart fresh green beans
- Juice of one lemon
- ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 tsp. celery seed
- 1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
- Heat the lemon juice, parsley, celery seed, and rosemary in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced summer squash and stir fry gently.
- Meanwhile, cook green beans in salted, boiling water for 6 minutes. Drain and add to skillet. Stir fry for another 3 minutes.
- Serve hot or warm.
Best Zucchini Bread, Photo by Sheryl Campbell
Coconut Zucchini Bread
This is a variation on my Great-aunt Anna’s famous zucchini bread. Famous because at our annual family dinner and auction her loaves often create bidding wars and may go for as high as $40 a loaf. That’s a tough act to follow, but I think I went one better by replacing the vegetable oil with cold-pressed coconut oil. By using Zucchino Rampicante I get a much sweeter flavor from the vegetable than a standard zucchini would give. And the Italian squash simply melts away as it bakes making for a very smooth loaf.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup melted coconut oil (cold pressed, first pressing, which tastes like coconut)
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 2 cups grated Zucchino Rampicante (leave the skins on)
- In a large bowl, stir together the first four ingredients.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugars.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to mixing bowl, beating well after each addition.
- Stir in grated zucchini.
- Grease 2 loaf pans with bakers spray. Divide batter into the 2 pans.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 60-70 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean from the loaves.
Stuffed Vegetable Tortillas
When the corn, zucchini, herbs, tomatoes, and peppers are all coming in strong, this recipe is an incredible way to preserve the harvest for use in the depths of winter. It makes a delectable meal all summer as well.
Ingredients and Directions
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 sweet pepper, chopped
- 2 tsp. vegetable oil
Put the oil in a large skillet and sauté the garlic for one minute; add the onion and pepper, sauté until crisp.
- 2 cups sweet corn kernels
- 1 medium Zucchino Rampicante, sliced thinly
- 1 ½ T. ground cumin
Add to the skillet and sauté until all vegetables are tender.
- 2 cups cooked black beans, drained
- 1 cup chicken broth (vegetable broth if you prefer)
- 6 T. tomato salsa
Add to skillet and cook until the moisture evaporates. Remove from heat.
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 T. chopped fresh chives
- 2 T. chopped fresh cilantro.
Stir in well to mix thoroughly. At this point, you can either use this filling and continue with the recipe, or freeze it in an airtight container for use later. I freeze much of this every summer.
- 8-inch flour tortillas
- Shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- Vegetable oil for the frying pan
- 9-inch frying pan with sloping sides
- Preheat fry pan over medium heat with a little oil. Place one tortilla in the pan and sprinkle it with cheddar cheese. Put 1/3 cup of the filling on half the tortilla. Fry a couple of minutes until crisp, fold, and serve. Repeat until you’ve made as many tortillas as you wish.
Time to start cooking!
Give these recipes a try and see if you aren’t surprised by how many “I-don’t-like-squash” people came back to you for more!
Sheryl Campbell is an heirloom gardener, shepherd, and edible flower educator who owns Bouquet Banquet in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley. Read Sheryl’s previous blogging with Mother Earth Gardener and Grit and read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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