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Squash gone wild: 4 new ways to cook it

By Carolyn Malcoun, July 31, 2009 (All day)

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When I planned my first garden a few years ago, I asked my friend Jessica for advice on how much of each vegetable I should plant. She said very matter-of-factly, “Only plant two summer squash seeds. If both grow into plants, you rip one out.” I thought she was crazy. One plant? I had so many delicious summer squash recipes that I wanted to try.

I ignored her advice and planted six. All six survived—and produced prolifically. I was completely overwhelmed with fresh squash, as were my friends, who by the end of the summer politely declined my continuous offers of free squash.

This year, I followed my friend’s advice so my crop is more manageable. But if you have any extra check out the cooking tips below or send them my way and I’ll try them in these 4 yummy new summer squash recipes.

Squash Cooking Tips

  • At the market: Smaller summer squash (under 8 inches) are sweeter and have fewer seeds.
  • Storage: Refrigerate in a plastic bag for 4 to 5 days.
  • Prep: Leave the skin on; gently scrub under running water. Cut off stem end.
  • Planning: 1 pound of squash makes about four 1⁄2-cup servings.
  • Variation: These recipes work with summer squash, zucchini or a mix of the two.

Pesto-Topped Grilled Summer Squash – Toasty rustic pesto takes simple grilled squash from ordinary to exceptional with tangy lemon and fresh garlic. Serve as a side dish or chop the grilled squash, combine with the pesto and toss with pasta for a light entree.

Parmesan-Squash Cakes – Shredded summer squash used like shredded potatoes makes tasty little pancakes flavored with Parmesan cheese and shallots.

Golden Summer Squash & Corn Soup – Pureed summer squash makes a delicious base for this summery squash and corn soup. Fresh thyme and briny feta cheese give it fabulous flavor. For a variation, try the soup with any herb you have on hand or goat cheese in place of feta.

Roasted Squash & Fennel with Thyme – We have only one word for this recipe: magical. As the vegetables roast in the oven, the fennel develops sweet flavors and the summer squash is infused with the garlic.

TAGS: Carolyn Malcoun, Food Blog, Dinner, Eating green, What's in season

Carolyn Malcoun
A graduate of New England Culinary Institute and University of Wisconsin with a degree in journalism, Carolyn pairs her long-standing love for food with writing as EatingWell's senior food editor. Carolyn’s culinary interest is rooted in her childhood; she grew up making thousands of Christmas cookies every year with her mom and picking leaves off bunches of parsley to make tabbouleh with her dad. Away from the kitchen, Carolyn enjoys seeking out rare craft beers and exploring the outdoors with her husband, young daughter and dog.

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