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Getting the flavor of Summer Squash!

August 7, 2009

Curcurbita pepo

Summer squash are distinguished from their relatives, winter squash, by their thin skin and brief shelf life. The are made up of 94% water, are low in calories, and supply vitamins A and C, potassium, and calcium.  We are growing four varieties this year.  We have black and yellow zucchini, yellow crookneck, and patty pan (the flying saucers).

Their production comes on quickly and maintains a high level for a few weeks.  Earlier this week, we signed a household law against opening the fridge after an avalanche of squash, stuffed into every shelf and nook, burst into the kitchen upon the fridge door being opened.  Three were hospitalized with injuries ranging from broken toenails to sprained ankles and squashed kneecaps.  The squash have been sequestered in the fridge until we open it, with safety nets in place, to distribute them on harvest days.  Help prevent squash accidents in your home: Eat them quickly!  Force them on relatives!  Hide them under the boss’ chair during meetings!

To prepare:

  • Rinse if needed.  There is no need to peel the skin
  • Delicious raw, when cut into sticks and served with dip
  • Can be grated or sliced thinly into salads.  Also, try grating it to make a squash slaw
  • Steam squash whole or halved to retain texture.  Cook squash cut into 1-2” pieces for 10-15 minutes, chunks for 5-10 minutes or until tender when a fork is inserted.  Do not overcook!  Top with butter, lemon juice, herbs, Parmesan cheese, or pepper.
  • Great in soups and stews.  Add toward the end of the cooking to retain texture.
  • Grill summer squash halves about 3–4 minutes on the hottest part of the grill and then 8-10 on a cooler side.  Baste with oil or marinade.
  • Patty pans may be blanched, sliced across the circumference, and added to a sauté or stir-fry.
  • Mash cooked summer squash, drain well, and blend with butter and salt and pepper.  Add grated cheese, if desired.

Storage

  • Store in a plastic bag or hydrator drawer in the refrigerator for up to one week.
  • Squash with damage or bruises will deteriorate very quickly.

From August 7, 2009 Fox & Fawn Farm Newsletter

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