Long ago (1988) I moved to Berkeley and started sending a monthly "newsletter" to my Boston friends. When I returned to Boston (1993), I continued the tradition for about five more years (or until I had kids). Looking back, I realize that I was actually blogging. Each newsletter contained anywhere from a few to several blog posts. Having been silent for the past decade or so, I've decided to resume these activities. Don't expect anything profound -- I tend to focus on what I find entertaining or amusing and perhaps sometimes informative. We shall see!

Friday, August 2, 2013

101 Uses for Summer Squash

It's that time of year again. The zucchini, pattypan, and other assorted summer squashes are ripening and that means that it's time to get creative about how to use up all that summer squash. It starts out slowly enough. You think that a couple of stir fried zucchini dishes and perhaps a vegetarian pasta casserole will keep your zucchini in check. Then you find yourself at the CSA acquiring many pounds more squash. So, what do you do?
My old standby that is quite popular with the younger crowd are chocolate zucchini muffins (thanks to Jill Levien).
This year, I branched out and went for Sue LoVerso's chocolate zucchini bread. I did this one both for home and for a potluck; it was popular.
I also signed up to feed a film crew worth of 15-year-olds one weekend. Not knowing if all present were carnivoes, I opted for one vegetarian zucchini pasta casserole in addition to the very meaty version I usually make.
There were many dinners that included stir fried zucchini (or summer squash) with garlic.
But I was still feeling overwhelmed, so I went for a variant of the lindentree casserole, which I'll call How to use up a ton of squash in something vaguely reminescent of lasagna.
Next I went to some of my favorite cookbooks and found a fabulous recipe for zucchini pizza crust from Moosewood's original cookbook. I put cheese and sauce and onions and other goodies on it and thought it was fabulous!
I may try some zucchini noodles this weekend (use a vegetable peeler to turn a zucchini into noodles; blanch them and then serve with pesto or tomato sauce or any pasta sauce you'd like).
Last year, I had a couple of other recipes I used, but didn't seem to write down:
  • Squash fritters: basically take some shredded squash, an egg or two, some parmesan cheese and enough flour to give you something you can shape into patties. Then fry them or bake them. I love these as a late night, post-soccer game snack.
  • Stuffed Squash: scoop out the gust of the squash and saute with onion, garlic, olive oil, maybe tomato, whatever spices you got from the farm and then enough bread crumbs to dry it out. Put it in the squashes and bake until the shells are soft. Tomato sauce is nice on these.
  • Squashed Slaw: Make something like cole slaw, but use shredded zucchini instead of cabbage.
  • And finally, this amazingly fudgey chocolate zucchini cake is shocking.

Don't forget old standbys such as ratatouille, sauted squash with garlic and basil, lasagna with sliced squash instead of pasta/noodles.