Showing off on farmers’ markets stands around the country, summer squash is ready to star on your dinner table. Whether you prefer the well-known zucchini and yellow crookneck or have an adventurous affinity for squash blossoms and baby squash, the following summer squash recipes give you a tasty array of ways of cooking with this nutritious, versatile fresh picked food.
Summer squash recipes
Summer Squash Goat Cheese Pasta
1 pound penne
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil plus more for drizzling
1/2 cup whole raw almonds
1 pound baby summer squash, halved or quartered, depending on size
3 tablespoons agave nectar
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
3/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil, drained
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh thyme
Crumbled goat cheese
4 squash blossoms, petals only, coarsely chopped
1. Cook pasta in salted boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Drain and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in 2 tablespoons of oil.
2. Toast almonds in a dry skillet over medium-high heat, shaking occasionally, until golden and fragrant (do not scorch). Quickly transfer to a cutting board, and chop. Add to pasta and toss.
3. Return skillet to medium-high heat, and add remaining 2 tablespoons of oil. Add baby squash and cook, stirring often, until squashes are golden brown and tender. Stir in sun-dried tomatoes. Add to pasta mixture and toss.
4. Return skillet to medium heat, and add agave and sherry vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until warm and runny. Pour over pasta mixture and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
5. Stir in parsley and thyme. Sprinkle with goat cheese and squash blossoms to serve.
Summer Squash Tart
1 recipe homemade or refrigerated pie dough for 1 crust
2 small zucchini
2 small yellow squash
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for brushing
3 green onions, finely chopped (green and white parts)
1/2 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 large whole egg
1 large egg yolk
1/4 cup cream
Extra-virgin olive oil, for brushing
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. and spray a 9-inch tart pan with nonstick cooking spray. Roll out dough and fit into the pan, pressing onto the bottom and up the sides. Place in freezer to chill for 20 minutes.
2. Remove the pan from the freezer, prick dough bottom with a fork, and line with a round of parchment paper. Fill with dried beans or metal pie weights. Bake for 15 minutes. Set aside on a wire rack.
3. Using a mandoline or vegetable peeler, thinly slice 1 green zucchini and 1 yellow squash lengthwise. Place slices in a colander in a single layer, and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place colander in a bowl, and set aside to drain.
4. Dice the remaining squash. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add diced squash and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until golden brown but still firm. Add green onions and cook, stirring often, until softened. Evenly distribute cooked vegetables in the crust. Sprinkle with cheese.
5. Place salted squash slices between double layers of paper towels. Gently press down to remove as much liquid as possible. Alternating squash colors, lay squash slices over squash mixture, covering the entire surface. Trim or tuck in ends to fit.
6. In a medium bowl, whisk together egg, egg yolk, and cream, and season with salt and pepper. Lift the edges of the lattice in several places, and pour in the egg mixture. Using a pastry brush, brush the lattice with olive oil.
7. Loosely cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until filling has set. Remove from oven, and place on a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.
Black Pepper Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread
Makes 2 loaves
2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 cups vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
Grated zest of half a lemon
2 cups grated zucchini
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Butter and flour two 8x4x2 1/2-inch metal loaf pans.
2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, black pepper, and salt. In a large bowl, whisk together sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, and lemon zest.
3. Add flour mixture to wet ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in zucchini and chocolate chips. Pour batter into prepared pans.
4. Bake breads until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Let stand on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Turn breads out onto rack and cool completely.