First the Facts
Delicious Ways to Enjoy Summer SquashSquash is summer's classic bumper-crop vegetable. Not only is it plentiful, it's also highly nutritious, versatile, and cheap. Here's what you need to know about summer squash, including some tasty ways to prepare it.
Summer Squash FactsSummer squash offers a slew of nutritional benefits. It's a good source of magnesium, vitamin C, beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, niacin, copper, and riboflavin. At this time of year in supermarkets and farmers' markets, you'll find a variety of summer squash, including green and yellow zucchini and yellow crookneck, straight-neck, and patty-pan. And, of course, you can find the popular types of squash like spaghetti and butternut. Select squash that are firm and heavy for their size, with bright, glossy skin. Avoid those with nicks, bruises, or soft spots. You can store squash tightly wrapped in plastic wrap or in plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to one week.
Enjoying Summer Squash
Summer squash, prepared with the edible skin on, cooks quickly whether you steam, bake, grill, or saute it. For a simple and healthful dish, cut the squash in half, remove any large seeds, and bake with a little extra-virgin olive oil and the seasonings of your choice. You can also use summer squash in soups, salads, and stews.
Here are three fun ways to prepare summer squash:
You can stuff it: Cut a large zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon or melon baller to scrape out some of the inside flesh, creating a "boat" (reserve the squash you remove to chop and use in the stuffing). Then, create a mixture to fill it. Think reduced-fat cheeses such as ricotta, mozzarella, and/or Parmesan mixed with fresh herbs, like basil or thyme. Or, stuff your zucchini with a combination of lean ground beef, tomatoes, onions, and/or chopped bell peppers.
• You can bake it in a casserole: For a quick and easy side dish, slice summer squash of your choice and onions and toss with a little chopped garlic, cumin, and extra-virgin olive oil (you can even add some precooked quinoa (on Phase 2 for a heartier dish). Bake until the vegetables are softened,
then sprinkle with a little chopped parsley or fresh coriander. Or combine zucchini, spinach, onion, extra-virgin olive oil, and grated Parmesan cheese and bake.
• You can serve it as a dessert: Use zucchini and apples in a Phase 2 cobbler, add finely shredded zucchini to oatmeal cookies, or make a healthy zucchini quick bread.
And Now the Recipes
Butternut Squash and Apple Bisque
1 - 2 lb. butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 - medium - onion (chopped)
1 - 14 1/2 oz. - can chicken broth
2 - Cups - apple sauce
1/2 - tsp. - ground ginger
1/4 - tsp. - sea salt
1 - Cup - sour cream
1) Mix all ingredients except sour cream in 31/2-to-6-quart slow cooker.
2) Cover and cook on low heat setting 8-10 hours (or high heat setting 3-5 hours) or until squash is tender.
3) Place 1/3 to 1/2 of the mixture at a time in blender or food processor.
4) Cover and blend on high speed until smooth.
5) Return mixture to slow cooker.
6) Stir in sour cream.
7) Cover and cook on low heat another 15 minutes or just until soup is hot; stir. 8) Garnish each serving with a dollop of sour cream.
Tip: Sour cream will break down and curdle if heated too long or becomes too hot.
After adding the cold sour cream, cook the bisque just long enough for it to reheat. If using reduced-fat sour cream, add it the same way.
Variations: For a delightful taste treat, serve this bisque thoroughly chilled. Garnish with thin slices of Granny Smith apples and a sprinkling of finely chopped
crystallized ginger. To add a spectacular finishing touch, spoon a dollop of sour
cream on top of each serving, then swirl slightly into the soup with the tip of a
Knife or toothpick. For a touch of crunch and color, sprinkle with poppy seed or chopped pecan. To finish out the meal serve with afresh tossed green salad and House Italian Salad Dressing.
Baked Summer Squash
A squash casserole with pecan or bread crumb topping, along with cheese and onions.
2 - pounds - yellow squash (cut in 3/4-inch cubes)
1 - cup - onion (chopped )
1 - teaspoon - sea salt
1/4 - teaspoon - freshly ground black pepper (or to taste)
4 - tablespoons - butter
1 - cup - saltine crackers (crumbled)
1/2 - cup - milk
1 - cup - Cheddar cheese (shredded)
1/2 - cup - pecans (finely chopped) or buttered bread crumbs
1) Place the squash, onion, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan.
2) Add a small amount of water.
3) Cover and cook the squash until tender, stirring occasionally and adding more water if necessary.
4) Drain the squash and onions; return to the pan and stir in the butter.
5) Taste and adjust seasonings, adding more salt and pepper to your taste.
6) Butter a 1 1/2-quart baking dish well. Stir the crumbled crackers into the squash mixture, and turn into the buttered casserole.
7) Pour the milk over the squash and sprinkle with the cheese and chopped pecans or crumbs.
8) Bake at 350°, uncovered, for 20 minutes, until the milk is absorbed and the squash casserole is bubbly.
9) Serve hot.
Pesto Spaghetti Squash
1 - medium - spaghetti squash (cooked)
1 - Tbs. - olive oil
3/4 - Cup - pesto sauce
4 oz. - smoked or plain mozzarella cheese (shredded)
1/4 - Cup - grated Parmesan cheese
1) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat, add spaghetti squash.
2) Using a couple of forks, mix in pesto.
3) Cook just long enough to heat through.
4) Mix in cheeses, until everything is well mixed and cheese is beginning to melt.
5) Serve immediately.
Butternut Squash Pie
1/2 - butternut squash (peeled and cut into small pieces)
1/2 - Cup - flour
1/2 - Cup - sugar
1/2 - stick margarine
2 - eggs
2/3 - Cup - vanilla soy milk
1 - tsp. - vanilla
1 - tsp. - cinnamon
1 - graham cracker pie crust
1) Boil squash in pot with water until soft (and you can easily pierce with a fork), about 8-10 minutes.
2) In a bowl, mix together: flour, sugar, margarine, eggs, soy milk and vanilla.
3) Pour into blender with cooked squash and blend until smooth.
4) Pour mixture into graham cracker pie crust.
5) Sprinkle cinnamon over the top.
6) Bake at 350 degrees until firm, about 1 hour.
3 1/2 - Cup - cooked or canned pumpkin
2 - Cup - chicken or vegetable broth
1 - tsp. - curry powder
1/2 - tsp. - dried thyme
3 - bay leaves
1/2 - tsp. - sea salt
1/2 - tsp. - freshly ground pepper
1 - tsp. - olive oil
1)Mix together in medium saucepan and heat thoroughly over medium heat.
Yellow Squash - Garbanzo - Potato Stew
3 - Tbs. - olive oil
1 - tsp. - ground cayenne pepper
1 - medium - yellow onion (chopped)
2 - Tbs. - yellow curry powder
1 - quart - vegetable broth
3 - large - Yukon Gold - potatoes (chopped)
4 - yellow squash
1/2 - head cauliflower (chopped into bite size pieces)
2 - 15 oz. - cans - garbanzo beans
1 - 8 oz. - container - plain yogurt
Cilantro leaves, for garnish
1) Heat the olive oil and cayenne pepper in a large pot over medium heat, and saute
the onion until tender.
2) Season with curry powder.
3) Pour in the broth, and mix in the potatoes.
4) Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 minutes, or until potatoes are very tender.
5) Mix the squash and cauliflower into the pot, and continue cooking 30 minutes.
6) Mash the garbanzo beans with a fork, and mix into the pot.
7) Continue cooking 5 minutes, until heated through.
8) Top with yogurt, and garnish with cilantro to serve.
1 1/2 - lb. - zucchini
1/2 - tsp. - sea salt
2 - eggs
6 - Tbs. - Parmesan cheese (grated)
2 - garlic cloves (minced or pressed)
1/4 - Cup - butter
1) Coarsely shred zucchini (you should have about 4 C.) and combine with salt in a
2)Let stand for 15 minutes.
3)Squeeze with your hands to press out moisture.
4) Stir in eggs, cheese and garlic.
5) Melt 2 Tbs. of the butter in a wide frying pan over medium- high heat.
6) Mound about 2 Tbs. of the zucchini mixture in pan; flatten slightly to make a patty.
7) Repeat until pan is filled, but don! Crowd patties in pan.
8) Cook patties, turning once, until golden on both sides (about 6 minutes).
9) Lift out and arrange on a warm platter; keep warm.
10) Repeat to cook remaining zucchini mixture, adding more butter as needed.
Spaghetti Squash and Chicken
This spicy sauce, which makes good use of leftover chicken or turkey, is also great
on true pastas, as well as spaghetti squash. For a vegetarian version, simply
eliminate the meat. If you want a substitute, use extra firm tofu.
1 - small - spaghetti squash (cooked)
2 - Tbs. - olive oil
1/2 - Cup - minced onion
3-4 - cloves - garlic (minced)
2 - green onions (finely chopped)
12 - oz. - cooked chicken or turkey meat
2 - Cup - crushed tomatoes
1 - Cup - dry red wine
2 - tsp. - capers
2 1/2 - tsp. - fresh oregano (1 tsp. dried)
1 - tsp. - crushed red pepper
3 - Tbs. - Italian parsley (finely chopped)
1) Heat the oil in a skillet over medium high heat, sauté onion, garlic and green
onions for 2 minutes.
2) Add the chicken or turkey and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
3) Stir in tomatoes and wine and bring to a boil, then lower heat and simmer for
about 20 minutes.
4) Add remaining ingredients and simmer for another 5 minutes
5) Pour sauce over heated spaghetti squash and serve.
Squash Casserole # 1
5 or 6 - yellow squash (cooked and drained ) (save the water)
1 - pkg. - cornbread stuffing
2 - celery stalks (chopped)
1/2 - small onion (chopped)
2 - Tbs. - butter
2 - large eggs (beaten)
1 - Cup - mild Cheddar Cheese (grated)
1 - 10 3/4 oz. - can - cream of mushroom soup
1 - Cup - chicken broth
1/4 - Cup - walnuts (chopped)
1) Mash squash with a potato masher and combine with stuffing mix, adding
remaining squash water if mixture is too dry.
2) Sauté the celery and onion in butter until tender.
3) Stir into squash mixture along with eggs and grated cheese.
4) Stir in mushroom soup.
5) If dry, add a little more water.
6) Add broth and walnuts.
7) Pour into a greased 8-inch square baking dish.
8) Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
Squash Casserole # 2
3 - Cup - Pepperidge Farm® Cornbread Stuffing
1/4 - Cup - butter or margarine (melted)
1 - 10 3/4 oz - can - Campbell's® Condensed Cream of Chicken Soup (Regular or 98% Fat Free)
1/2 - Cup - sour cream
2 - small - yellow squash (shredded)
2 - small - zucchini (shredded)
1/4 - Cup - carrot (shredded )
1/2 - Cup - Cheddar cheese (shredded )
1) Stir the stuffing and butter in a large bowl.
2) Reserve 1/2 C. of the stuffing mixture and spoon remaining into a 2-quart shallow baking dish.
3) Stir the soup, sour cream, yellow squash, zucchini, carrot and cheese in a medium bowl.
4) Spread the mixture over the stuffing mixture and sprinkle with the reserved stuffing mixture.
5) Bake at 350BF. for 40 minutes or until hot.
Summer Squash and Tomatoes
2 - lbs. - yellow squash (sliced, and half cooked )
1/4 - lb. - bacon (chopped )
1/2 - cup - onions (chopped)
1/2 - Cup - celery (chopped)
1 - Cup - green onion (chopped, tops and bottoms )
1 1/2 - cup - tomato (chopped)
1/2 - Cup - Cream Of Mushroom Soup
1/2 - Cup - breadcrumbs
1 - Cup - Cheddar Cheese (shredded)
salt and pepper (to taste)
1) Fry bacon until crisp.
2) Add onion, celery, and green onions.
3) Sauté until soft.
4) Add tomatoes, soup, and bread crumbs.
5) Mix with the squash.
6) Place in a casserole.
7) Top with cheese. Bake for 1/2 hr. at 350.
Squash with Chiles
3 - cups - sliced cooked - yellow summer squash
2 - cups Cheddar Cheese (shredded )
4 - ounces - mild green chiles (chopped )
1 - cup - saltine crackers (crushed)
1 - cup - milk
1) Combine all ingredients in baking dish.
2) Bake in 1 1/2 to 2-quart casserole in oven at 350° for 1 hour.
10 - Cups - zucchini (unpeeled and shredded)
4 - Cups - onions (shredded)
5 - Tbs. - canning salt
2 1/2 - C. white vinegar
5 - Cups - sugar
1 - Tbs. - dry mustard
1 - Tbs. - turmeric powder
1 - Tbs. - cornstarch
2 - Tbs. - celery seed
1 - green pepper
1 - red pepper
1) Shred zucchini, onion and peppers.
2) Place in large bowl.
3) Sprinkle with salt.
4) Mix well and let stand overnight.
5) Rinse vegetables 3-4 times and drain.
6) Place drained vegetables in a large pot and add all other ingredients.
7) Boil for 30 minutes, stirring as needed.
8) Pour into hot sterile jars/cap and place in hot water bath for 10
6 - small - summer squash
1 - Tbs. - unsalted butter
1 - Tbs. - olive oil
1 - Cup - finely diced onion
2 - tsp. - minced garlic
1 - Cup - whole-milk ricotta cheese
1/3 - Cup - grated parmesan cheese
3 - Tbs. - dry bread crumbs
1 - lg. - egg (beaten)
2 - Tbs. - minced marjoram or basil
1/2 - tsp. - sea salt
1/8 - tsp. - freshly ground pepper
1)Preheat the oven to 375 F.
2) Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.
3) Slice squash in half lengthwise.
4) Scrape out seeds and discard.
5) Slice a little off bottoms so squash rest flat, cut side up.
6) In a skillet, heat butter and oil over medium heat.
7) Cook onion and garlic until soft. Add squash blossoms, if using; sauté 1 minute.
8) Transfer to a bowl and cool slightly. Stir in ricotta, 1/6 - Cup of Parmesan, 2 -Tbs. bread crumbs, egg, marjoram, salt, and pepper until blended.
9) Spoon into squash shells.
10) Sprinkle remaining Parmesan and bread crumbs overtops.
11) Bake 25 minutes, until sides are tender; broil 3 minutes, until tops are golden.
12) Serve hot.