Squash, squash, and more squash. What does one do when the squash come all at once? Here are my top ten ways to use up a squash surplus:
(1) Fried squash. A classic Southern dish, fried squash is my favorite way to fix squash. There’s just something about crispy-fried-cornmeal-covered squash that takes me back to my Mama’s cookin’. I usually fry up some squash with pinto beans and cornbread. You can’t get much better than that!
(2) Boiled squash. Do people still boil vegetables? I still have vivid memories of mushy, boiled-to-death yellow squash, no chewing required. You just let that stuff slide right down your throat. Ugh. But Daniel’s grandmother boils her squash just right, adding some canola oil for good measure. Boiling squash is also good for making baby food. My eight-month-old loves her squash boiled, steamed, and roasted.
(3) Roasted squash. Tonight I roasted chicken for supper and while adding the vegetables, I thought, “Hmm…why not some squash?” So, after roasting the chicken for about an hour, I added sliced squash, potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, celery, onions, and peppers and poured chicken broth on top. Add some crusty bread and that is a meal in itself. Our family, including the two-year-old, ate it up!
(4) Grilled squash. While you’re throwing steaks or burgers on the grill, why not add some squash kebabs? We like to cut up some squash, zucchini, peppers, and onions; toss to coat with olive oil; and add salt and freshly ground pepper. Then, put them in a grill basket or skewer them and put them on the grill until fully cooked. You can also cook the vegetables first, but we just throw ’em on the grill. There’s just something about grilling vegetables that brings out their natural sweetness. Easy and good to eat.
(5) Sauteed squash. We love pizza, so I thought, “Hey, why not put some squash on there too?” So, I sauteed squash, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and garlic in olive oil, loaded them up onto homemade pizza dough, and topped it with mozzarella cheese and pepperoni. My husband and I loved it! Delicious!
(6) Squash casserole. Honestly, I have never made squash casserole because I try to stay away from condensed soups, which most recipes call for. However, when we have potlucks at church, it never fails that some sweet lady has prepared squash casserole, and, yes, I pile it on. I like Paula Deen’s recipe (no condensed soup) and think I’ll try my hand at it soon.
(7) Yellow squash pie. Sounds pretty gross, huh? I found this recipe in my White Trash Cooking cookbook. (I love this cookbook for its photography and unique recipes.)
Ingredients1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup steamed yellow squash, mashed
1 cup heavy cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon ginger
1 9-inch unbaked pie shell
(1) Add sugar, salt, and spices to squash and mix thoroughly.
(2) Beat eggs, add cream, and mix with salt.
(3) Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell.
(4) Bake in 450 degree oven for 10 minutes. Then, lower temperature to 350 degrees and bake 40 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center of pie comes out clean.
I must confess that I have never made this recipe either, but I am intrigued. I’m thinking it must be a lot like pumpkin pie. Maybe we’ll give it a whirl if the squash keeps flooding in.
8. Squash frittata. I found a recipe for zucchini potato frittata in Andrea Chesman’s Serving up the Harvest: Celebrating the Goodness of Fresh Vegetables, which looked delicious. However, I intend to modify it to use yellow squash instead of zucchini. Chesman made a good suggestion: To get the most flavor out of squash, sprinkle salt on sliced or grated squash, and let it set for 30 minutes. When I used this technique, I found that there is a LOT of water in squash.
9. Make squash geese. Yes, I went there. Someone who has a lot more creativity than me has come up with a unique way to decorate the table using two yellow squash, a small carrot, and two cloves. If you’re crafty, you might consider using your surplus squash to make a tablescape and then turn those squash geese into soup!
(10) Give it away. This past week we picked over a dozen squash. I gave half to my mom and what we didn’t use, we took to church and gave it to whoever wanted some. There are always people willing to take fresh homegrown vegetables off your hands.