Blog » What’s in Season? Squash and Zucchini!
Summer squash was a favorite of my family, but my love for zucchini and summer squash came later in life. As southern as I am, I’ve just never been a fan of fried vegetables, which is how my family typically served them. Granted, I put in plenty of time picking these slick yellow veggies in our seemingly massive garden, but I never learned to truly appreciate their flavor until I was introduced to different preparations of summer squash. Once I learned to like yellow summer squash, zucchini was easy.
Here are some of my favorite ways to eat these seasonal beauties:
Wally’s Squish Squash (serves 4 generous portions)
This recipe is my father in-laws and the first time I had it was the very first time I actually enjoyed summer squash. The contrast of the sweet onions and the spicy jalapeno complement the squash perfectly.
4 yellow summer squash, chopped coarsely
1 large onion, chopped coarsely (about 2 cups total)
2 jalapenos, deseeded and chopped finely*
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
Heat a pan on medium high heat with the oil. Put the onion in a pan and allow to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the squash and the jalapeno. Continue to stir occasionally until squash cooks down and onions have caramelized. Remove, plate, and serve.
*Adjust the amount of jalapeno to your taste preference. You may also include the seeds if you like very spicy food. However, the first time I made this dish, I left the seeds, knowing how my husband loves spice. We were wiping the sweat from our face before we finished our meal. I’ve also used several different types of spicy peppers, such as Serrano and Hungarian wax. Any spicy pepper will work just fine.
Zucchini and Goat Cheese Roll-ups (serves 2 as a side)
This recipe is so simple, but can easily be tripled or quadrupled for an appetizer that looks “fancy” but can be thrown together in minutes.
2 zucchinis, sliced into 4-6 strips with a vegetable peeler
2 ounces soft goat cheese
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
Warm olive oil in a pan or grill pan on medium high heat. Saute or grill zucchini until they begin to brown. Allow zucchini to cool. Spread goat cheese evenly over one side of each zucchini strip. Roll each zucchini strip so that goat cheese is inside the roll and secure with a toothpick. Serve slightly warm.
Grilled Summer Veggie Pizza
I am a bit of a pizza fanatic, but I also try to make my pizza as healthy as possible. This means loading up on plenty of veggies, and seasonal veggies at that. Both zucchini and squash make excellent pizza toppings.
1 package of pre-made whole wheat pizza dough (I like Trader Joe’s pizza dough)
½ package of pre-shredded mozzarella (~2 cups)
2 cups marinara sauce
3 oz. soft cheese (goat, feta, or Boursin)
1 zucchini, sliced into rounds
1 summer squash, sliced into rounds
1 bell pepper (any color)
½ large onion, chopped (white or red)
¾ cup mushrooms, sliced
1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Warm oil in a pan and sauté all vegetables with salt until soft. Roll pizza dough out onto a pizza stone or baking sheet. Spread marinara evenly over the dough with a spoon. Sprinkle mozzarella cheese over the marinara. Top evenly with vegetables, making sure to distribute the variety evenly over the pizza. Top with the soft cheese, sprinkling it evenly over the pizza.
Cook pizza for 25-30 minutes or until mozzarella has melted well and dough is beginning to brown. Allow to cool (if you can refrain yourself), cut into pieces and serve.
*Don’t let my recipe restrict your creativity. Use whatever veggies you have on hand. I also love to use eggplant, sliced tomato, fresh basil, chard, and spinach. Almost any vegetable goes well on pizza, so you can use this basic recipe as a way to clean out your fridge’s crisper.
Now, try to eat only two slices, then remind yourself it's healthy season eating and have another slice.
What’s your favorite way to enjoy summer squash and zucchini?
Like what you see? Check out Kelly’s blog, foodiefresh.com, for more recipes and ramblings.