Jul
09
    
Posted (Lori) in News
We’ve seen a lot of squash in the past few weeks; some of you have asked for recipes and I dug out an old post that provides many ways to deal with this versatile vegetable.

FROM THE BOOK: Two of my favorite recipes from Recipes from America’s Small Farms are squash-centric: Greek Zucchini Cakes (p. 151) and Picante Zucchini (p. 165). The Squash Pizza (p. 168) is also nice and can be prepared in less than 30 minutes. Squash (or a mixture of squash and chard) can be substituted for broccoli in Broccoli Flan (p. 75). The Basic Vegetable Quiche (p. 20), Basic Gratin Gratin (p. 25—I tried it with potatoes and zucchini, it was yummy); Basic Fried Vegetables and Fritters (p. 32-33), Basic Stir-Fried Vegetables (p 34) and Basic Pilaf (p. 35) are great with summer squash. I tried the Basic Souffe with zucchini, and I wouldn’t recommend it unless something with a stronger taste was added—the squash was too bland and the whole thing tasted like scrambled eggs that took an hour to prepare.

QUICKIES: 20 MINUTES OR LESS

Broiled squash: Slice squash diagonally into large ovals. Coat a cookie sheet with olive oil, using a misto (if you don’t have a misto, just spread the oil on the cookie sheet, or better yet, buy a misto—they cost about $15 and you won’t be sorry). Arrange the squash slices on the cookie sheets and coat the tops with oil. Place under the broiler for 4 minutes, until the squash is brown. Remove from oven, turn each slice, sprinkle with salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese. Return to over and broil for another 4-5 minutes until cheese is melted and squash is brown around the edges.

Or—instead of cheese, spread horseradish dressing OR honey mustard over the ovals after you turn them.

Or—instead of slicing into ovals, cut into half lengthwise. These will take about 8 minutes to cook through. Add the cheese or sauce after 4 minutes, but don’t turn. If the squash won’t sit steadily, cut a thin slice off the bottom.

Squash kabobs: Cut squash into small spears. Thread onto skewers. Brush with oil and place on a cookie sheet. Put under a broiler for 4 minutes, turn, broil another four minutes. Add salt and pepper. (If you have time, marinate the kabobs in oil, vinegar or lemon, onion, herbs, and spices before broiling.)

Skillet squash: Heat olive oil in a large skillet; add minced garlic and onion; sauté until soft. Chop 6 squash into chunks or circles. Add to skillet and sauté until soft, about 4-6 minutes. Add 2 cups tomato sauce or canned plum tomatoes; cook, stirring, until heated through. Add whatever herbs you like &/or have on hand—basil, parsley, oregano, and rosemary are particularly nice. Cook another two minutes. Top with grated parmesan and serve (over rice or pasta, it makes a full meal).

Quick squash pancakes: The Greek Zucchini Cakes and Basic Fritters (FROM THE BOOK, above) are nice, but you can get the job done even faster. Just throw 4 cups of cubed zucchini into a blender/food processor with a small chopped onions, a couple of cloves of garlic, and salt and pepper. Pulse for a few seconds. Drain off the liquid and throw the pulp into a bowl. Heat 2 tablespoons of salad oil on a large skillet. Add 2 beaten eggs and 1/2 cup of grated cheese to the pulp. Form into 2-inch long ovals and drop into the heated oil. Fry for a few minutes on each side, turning once.

Squash and pasta; squash and rice. Slice squash thinly; sauté in olive oil until brown and crispy. Add salt and pepper to taste; serve over pasta or rice, topped with parmesan or other cheese. Of course, you can add other vegetables (mushrooms, eggplant, onions, string beans, greens) to the sauté pan, but it’s fine with just the squash.

PULP THEM: Wash, cut into chunks and throw them in the food processor; pulse for 15-20 seconds. Put the pulp in a colander and let it sit over a pot for a half hour to get rid of some of the water. Put the remaining pulp into freezer bags in 2-3 cup portions—they take up very little room in even the smallest freezer. Sometime next winter, you’re going to make wonderful zucchini bread, fritters or pancakes (see above), or thicken a soup or stew with the stuff in those little bags.

MAKE SANDWICHES: Slice squash vertically into long strips. Broil or sauté them until soft; season with salt and pepper. Layer into sandwiches with sautéed or carmelized onions, roasted tomatoes, sliced or grated cheese. Spread bread with mustard, honey mustard, or horseradish sauce. This works well in pita, wrap, or flat bread.

STUFF THEM: Cut squash in half and scoop the pulp out of each half, leaving 1/4” on all sides. This is easier said than done; I find that I need to cut into the pulp with a knife and try to dig down so that I can use a spoon to get the pulp out; the whole thing gets pretty messy, but the spoon smooths it out, and who sees what’s under the stuffing anyway? Then chop the pulp; heat some oil or butter in skillet, add garlic, chopped onion or scallion, whatever other vegetables you have around (chopped finely), some rice or mashed potatoes. Toss the whole thing until cooked through. Allow to cool slightly, then add 2 beaten eggs. Stuff the scooped out squash with this mixture, then top with a little parmesan and/or bread crumbs. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 15 minutes; a few minutes under the broiler will brown the top nicely, but isn’t absolutely necessary.

For other stuffings, see Recipes from America’s Small Farms, p. 164. Stuffing is particularly suited to pattypan squash. Slice off the top, then get the pulp out however you can.

SQUASH CHIPS: Mix 1/2 cup flour with 1/2 cup water until blended. Mixture should be a thin batter, but thick enough to stick to squash—add water or flour until this is achieved. Slice squash into large ovals. Heat oil in a large skillet, so that it goes about 1/8” up the sides of the skillet. Dip squash ovals into flour batter on both sides. When oil is hot enough to sizzle, drop the squash into oil so that the ovals are close but not touching. Fry for a minute or two on each side, until the batter browns around the edges. Using a pancake turner, turn onto paper towels to drain, and make the next batch. Salt the finished chips and serve hot.

PICKLE AND CAN THEM: I used to be afraid that the stuff that I canned would kill someone—but I’ve been doing it for years and we’re all still alive. If you follow the canning directions carefully and discard any food that looks the slightest bit suspicious, there’s no reason that the food you can should be any more dangerous than other parts of life. I’ve invested in a big canning pot and rack, but if can be done with a big soup pot. You will need a jar holder to remove the jars from the hot batch, but you can get one for about $1.00. Most hardware stores (and Gracious Homes) carry the jars and lids. Here’s one recipe for pickled squash—it uses 4 pounds of squash!–there are lots of others on the internet. If you can’t get over the “I might kill someone with these”feeling if you store on a shelf for six months, you can still make half the recipe, cover the jars tightly, and store in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Summer Squash Bread and Butter Pickles (Gourmet  | July 2001)
Yield: Makes 6 (1-pint) jars
Active time: 1 1/4 hr Start to finish: 5 1/2 hr (plus 1 week for flavors to develop)
4 lb small yellow squash and green zucchini, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (12 cups)
2 large onions, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup plus 1 1/2 teaspoons canning salt
1 quart crushed ice
2 1/4 cups cider vinegar
1 cup pure maple syrup (preferably dark amber)
3/4 cup water
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1/2 teaspoon celery seeds
6 (4- to 5-inch-long) fresh red chiles such as Holland red hot finger peppers
Special equipment: 6 (1-pint) canning jars with lids and screw bands
Preparation
Toss together yellow squash, zucchini, and onions with 1/4 cup canning salt and crushed ice in a large bowl. Press a plate directly onto vegetables and place a 5-pound weight on top (a bag of sugar in a sealed plastic bag works well). Let stand at room temperature 4 hours.
Sterilize jars and lids.
Bring vinegar, syrup, water, mustard seeds, allspice, celery seeds, and remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons canning salt to a boil in a 3-quart saucepan, then simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes.
Cut a lengthwise slit in each chile (don’t cut all the way through), then add chiles to pickling liquid and continue to simmer 1 minute.
Drain jars upside down on a clean kitchen towel 1 minute, then invert.
Drain vegetables in a colander set over a bowl to catch liquid, then pack into jars, tucking a chile pepper into side of each jar. Fill jars with pickling liquid, leaving 1/4 inch of space at top, then run a thin knife between vegetables and jar to eliminate air bubbles.
Seal, process, and store filled jars , boiling pickles in jars 20 minutes.
Let pickles stand in jars at least 1 week for flavors to develop.

Read More

FAUX APPLE PIE: I didn’t believe it either, but this pie, made with squash and without a single apple, tastes just like apple pie. It think this means that we’re tasting the sugar and cinnamon and not the apples when we eat apple pie, but it’s still a good way to use a lot of squash. I use a streusel or crumb topping intead of the second crust. If I feel ambitious, I’ll bake one of these and bring it to the site tomorrow

INGREDIENTS

1 recipe pastry for a 9 inch double crust pie

4 medium-sized summer squash

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 pinch salt

1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

pinch ground nutmeg

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1. Peel the zucchini. Cut into quarters lengthwise, then remove seeds and cut crosswise (as you would cut apples for apple pie). Toss together 4 cups chopped zucchini, lemon juice and salt. Place mixture into frying pan and cook until tender-crisp.

2. In a separate bowl, mix together the brown sugar, cinnamon, cream of tartar, nutmeg and flour. Add the cooked zucchini to sugar mixture and mix well. It will be a little runny, but that’s OK.

3. Place filling into a 9 inch pie crust, dot with butter, and place top crust on. Bake in oven at 400 degrees F (205 degrees C) for 40 minutes or until golden brown.



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