Summer squash is a type of squash that is harvested when immature and the rind is still tender and edible. I asked Jody Victor® to tell us more about it.
Jody Victor®: The name “summer squash” refers to its short storage life as opposed to the longer storage life of winter squash. Summer squashes include: cousa squash, patty pan/scallop squash, yellow crookneck squash, yellow summer squash, and zucchini. Summer squash can be harvested later in the season when the rind is tougher. You just have to prepare them more like a winter squash with longer cooking times.
To prepare summer squash, run it under water until the skin feels clean. Cut off and discard the ends. If the skin is tough or if the skin feels gritty after washing, peel it. Summer squash can be grated, sliced, or cut into desired pieces.
To steam summer squash, arrange the pieces in a strainer or rack over 1/2 inch of boiling water. Cover and steam just until barely tender. Drain well and toss with olive oil or your favorite sauce.
To sauté summer squash, cook in butter or olive oil over medium-high heat until barely tender. Season with herbs of your choice, salt, and pepper. The healthiest way to sauté any vegetable is in 3 tablespoons of vegetable or chicken broth or even water. Heat liquid in a stainless steel skillet. Once bubbles begin to form add sliced squash, cover, and “healthy sauté” for 3 minutes (1 1/2 minutes on each side). Transfer to a bowl and toss with a Mediterranean dressing or any dressing of your choice.
STUFFED SUMMER SQUASH
3 medium summer squash
1 large onion, chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 pound sausage
3 cups fresh bread crumbs, divided in half
1 cup Parmesan cheese, divided in half
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
4 tablespoons melted butter
Cook squash with 4 tablespoons water in microwave on high for 7 minutes. Cool. Saute onion and garlic in olive oil. Remove from pan. Saute sausage until brown. Put onion/garlic back in pan and mix with 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, and parsley. Cut squash in half lengthwise and scoop out leaving 1/2 inch shell. Drain scooped-out squash for a few minutes then add to sausage mixture. Put squash mixture in squash shells. Make a topping with melted butter, 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese. Bake in greased pan, covered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Uncover and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serves 6.
SUMMER SQUASH VEGETABLE MEDLEY
2 pounds yellow summer squash and/or zucchini, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
2 medium tomatoes, cut into wedges
1/2 onion, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped]
5-6 slices jack or cheddar cheese
Basil, dry or chopped fresh
Salt and pepper
Saute squash, onion, garlic, and bell pepper in a large saucepan with a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Brown the vegetables slightly. Sprinkle with basil and stir it in. Remove from heat and add slices of cheese. Cover. In a separate frying pan, sauté tomatoes on medium high heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Juices from tomatoes should evaporate some. Add the tomatoes to the rest of the vegetables. Stir gently. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serves 4.
SUMMER SQUASH WITH ROASTED GARLIC
2 summer squash
1/4 cup olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon of herbs of choice
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut each squash lengthwise into quarters. Cut spears in half crosswise and in half again until you have 16 short spears. Toss squash in olive oil and garlic in a bowl. Place in shallow baking dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast squash until the spears and garlic begin to brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Check squash after 5 minutes and add time in 2 to 3 minute intervals to avoid burning. Serves 4.
All the Best!