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Summer squash recipes

Diana De Cicco is a food editor and writer based in New York City. She has a master's degree from New York University in Food Studies. Her passions are eating, traveling, and eating while traveling.

Fresh summer squash dishes

Summer squash makes a delicious accompaniment to a light summertime meal. Whether eaten raw or cooked, they add a great flavor and texture to any dish and of course have loads of health benefits.

Variety of summer squash

Types of Summer Squash

There are many varieties of summer squash to choose from, the most commonly found being zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan, crookneck, and straightneck squash. One of the best things about summer squash versus winter squash is that they are completely edible, the skin, seeds, and flesh, which means they can be eaten raw. However, summer squash are much more fragile than winter squash and do not keep as long.

Selection and Storage

Selecting the perfect summer squash is fairly simple. Just look for unbruised, medium size (for the best flavor and texture), heavy squash with a bright color. Also, they should have fairly soft skin meaning they are not over or under ripe and the insides are ready to eat. If the skin is too hard or too soft, move on to the next squash. Once you choose the perfect squash, storing it is the next step. Simply store it the crisper drawer in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. It should stay fresh like this for up to one week. But eating it as soon as possible will ensure freshness and great flavor.

Serving/Preparation Ideas

Summer squash can be served raw on a vegetable platter with your favorite dip or in a sandwich or salad for extra crunch. You can also grill squash and top a burger with slices. A combination of a few varieties of summer squash work great in a light summer stew or you can add chopped sautéed squash to a summer pasta dish. Replacing the eggplant with summer squash slices in eggplant parmesan is a delicious alternative or you can add them to a casserole. Summer squash also makes a great filling for quesadillas. Zucchini bread is one of my favorite uses for summer squash, you can make muffins too. Finally, you can use summer squash in homemade vegetarian burgers.

 

Summer Squash Farfalle Recipe

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1, 16-ounce box Farfalle pasta
  • 1 yellow squash
  • 1 crookneck squash
  • 1 white onion, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, chiffonade

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook pasta according to package directions, until al dente. Drain and reserve
  2. Meanwhile, poke holes in both squash and place on a grill pan. Grill until tender, about 10 to 15 minutes, flipping to cook all sides. Remove squash and let cool. When cool enough to handle, cut squash into cubes
    Saute onion and pepper in 1 tablespoon hot oil until onions are translucent. Add squash cubes and heat through. Mix in tomatoes and garlic and sauté until garlic is tender
  3. Add pasta to skillet with vegetables and season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Drizzle vinegar and remaining olive oil over top and cook until mixture is heated through, 3 to 4 minutes. Top pasta with cheese and basil

 

Zucchini Muffins

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups coarsely grated zucchini
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 cups chopped pecans
  • 2 cups raisins

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake liners
  2. Beat eggs with oil, sugar, and vanilla until well combined. Stir zucchini into mixture
  3. In a separate bowl, mix flour with baking soda, salt, and baking powder. Then add cinnamon and nutmeg
  4. Gradually beat dry mixture into wet mixture until a well combined batter is made. Stir nuts and raisins into mixture
  5. Pour batter into muffin tins, filling about 3/4 of the way full. Bake muffins 30 to 35 or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove muffins from tin and let cool

 

Fried Summer Squash

Makes 4 to 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 cup low-fat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 3 medium yellow squash, sliced into 1/4-inch thick rounds

Directions:

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet until very hot; do not allow oil to smoke
  2. Meanwhile, combine cornmeal with salt and pepper in one bowl
  3. Then whisk milk with egg into a separate bowl
  4. Dip squash in milk then dip in flour mixture then place in oil
  5. Cook squash 2 to 3 minutes per side or until golden and fork tender. Remove squash slices and let them drain on paper towels
  6. Repeat this process until all squash are cooked. Do not over crowd skillet while cooking squash

 

Related video: Summer squash 101

    More summer squash recipes & ideas

    Squash Blossom Recipes

    Summer Squash Ravioli

    Squash Puree with Watermelon and Cinnamon

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