Valley Bounty, July 11, 2013: Summer Squash
Tender new summer squash is a far cry from weary winter imports or the baseball bat butt of summertime jokes. Young summer squash can be eaten raw, roasted, grilled, or sautéed (cook it briefly over high heat to avoid mushiness). Top a pizza with summer squash, goat cheese, and herbs, or mix with chickpeas, feta and olives and eat with rice.
Zucchini and other summer squashes shouldn’t be hard to find at any farmers’ market, farmstand, or retailer sourcing locally grown products, but you can find CISA’s list of summer squash growers here.
Pizza with roasted summer squash and goat cheese
Cut the summer squash into slabs about ¼ inch thick. Sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and roast or grill until slightly browned. Chop fresh herbs—I like basil, but I’ve used whatever I have in the garden—and mix with goat cheese. Bake a pizza crust for a few minutes until it begins to crisp, then top with squash, dot with goat cheese, and return to the oven until crisp and brown around the edges. Roasted onions are also a good addition to this pizza.
Brookfield Farm’s recipe for Zucchini Ankara—zucchini, chickpeas, olives and feta with cumin—is here.
As its name suggests, summer squash isn’t made to be eaten in the winter. There isn’t a good way to preserve it that leaves its most valuable qualities intact. It does tend to grow in abundance in season, however, so if you find yourself with more than you can eat—or with those overgrown specimens the size of a baseball bat—grate it and throw it in the freezer. In the winter, use it to thicken soups, or bake it into zucchini bread or muffins.