Summer Squash

It’s the time of year for the garden to be overflowing with squash, which we must pick or else they will grow to the size of our yellow lab, Benny, and no one wants that.

So what to do with zucchini upon zucchini upon zucchini? Well, get creative of course! Zucchini is loved in our family and my mom often makes her ‘zucchini marinara’ year round, which is simply sautéed squash topped with tomato sauce and mozzarella. As simple and tasty as this is, you can guess it gets old after a while. So here are some of our latest summer squash recipes…. and if you have a favorite I’d love to know about it!

Zucchini Cakes with Goat Cheese, found here

Calabacitas con Elote – Me and mom’s absolute favorite. We really could eat this every day of the summer! It’s such a simple recipe but something about the zucchini and sweet corn simmering together creates a rich, “summery” flavor, if I may call it that :]. I’d like to try adding some vegetable broth and eating it as a soup!

3 large ears sweet white corn or 3 cups thawed frozen whole kernel corn

6 medium zucchini (1 ½ lbs)

2 poblano or California Chiles, roasted & peeled OR 2 canned whole green chiles (mom uses a 4.5oz can of chopped green chiles, because they’re milder)

3 tomatoes, chopped OR 1 15oz can chopped/diced tomatoes

¼ medium onion (use more if desired)

1 ½ T olive oil

¼ t dried leaf oregano, crushed (or use ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro)

¾ t salt

pepper

If using fresh corn, slice kernels off cobs, then scrape cobs with sharp spoon to get juices. Discard cobs. Cut zucchini into ½ – ¼ inch cubes. Cut chiles into short thin strips. Chop tomatoes and onion. Heat oil in saucepan or Dutch oven. Add corn and zucchini cubes. Cook over med-low heat until zucchini is crisp-tender, about 3 min. Add chile strips (or can of chopped chiles), tomatoes (and juice if canned), onions, oregano (if using cilantro, add once zucchini is tender approx 5 min before serving), salt + pepper to taste. Stir. Cover and cook over medium heat 5-10 min until zucchini is tender. Makes 6-8 servings.

Pesto Zucchini Noodles – a healthy substitution for spaghetti noodles with way less cooking involved!

2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced into “noodles” (approx 4 cups)

Pesto sauce:

2 cups fresh basil, firmly packed

1/4 cup olive oil

3 T pine nuts

1 medium/large clove garlic

2 T lemon juice

3/4 t sea salt, or to taste

1/2 t black pepper

pinch cayenne pepper

1 T nutritional yeast, optional but good!

Garnish:

12 cherry tomatoes, quartered

8 Kalamata olives, pitted + halved

4 t pine nuts

fresh basil leaves

Wash the zucchinis and slice lengthwise with a mandoline peeler (or whatever tool you have) and then into thin noodle-sized strips. Put noodles into a colander and let drain 20 minutes. In a blender or food processor, blend pesto ingredients until smooth. Stir fry zucchini noodles until just tender OR alternatively, simmer in water briefly and then drain in colander. Try to get as much water out of the zucchini as possible. Toss pesto with zucchini and garnish with tomatoes, olives, pine nuts and fresh basil, all optional of course. Note: you may also enjoy the noodles raw for a crunchier texture and a no-cook meal!

Enjoy the fruits of summer :]

-micha


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4 thoughts on “Summer Squash

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