Summer Squash


Summer squash is a broad category that includes zucchini, patty pan (aka yellow scallopini), yellow crookneck, and straightneck squash.  Though in the same family as the thick-skinned and storable winter squash, summer squash is more delicate and perishable.  Once it starts, summer squash keeps coming prolifically.  Summer squash is low in calories and has a very high water content (making it quite refreshing on a hot summer day!).  It is also a great source of vitamins A and C, potassium, and calcium.

Patty pan squash

Patty pan squash


Since summer squash dehydrates quickly, store in the hydrator drawer in the fridge for up to a week.  Damaged or bruised squash will deteriorate quickly.  For longer-term storage, summer squash can be cooked, pureed, and frozen in an airtight container (this makes an excellent soup or winter soup base).


General Tips

Rinse or wipe summer squash to clean (it does not need to be peeled).  Eat it raw cut into sticks or rounds with a dip, or grate into salads or a slaw.  Steam 1-2 inch pieces for 10-15 minutes or until tender, and top with a combination of butter, lemon, herbs, Parmesan cheese, and pepper.  Summer squash can be cut into chunks and added to soups or stews (or cooked, pureed, and frozen and added to soups later).  Summer squash is also great on the grill basted in olive oil or a marinade – grill halves for 3-4 minutes on the hottest part of the grill and then 8-10 minutes on the side.  To make a simple casserole, layer blanched squash slices with chopped onion cooked with bread crumbs; repeat 2-3 times and add butter or olive oil to the top; cook in 350°F oven until hot and bubbly.


Yellow Summer Squash Recipe with Blistered Tomatoes

2 pounds yellow squash

1 pint cherry tomatoes

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

Salt and Pepper

½ cup parmesan cheese

Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat.  Trim the ends of the squash. Quarter each squash and slice into 1/3-inch thick pieces.  Add the butter and oil to the skillet, followed by the squash and garlic. Toss and sear for 2-5 minutes, until barely cooked through. Salt and pepper to taste.  Push the squash to the sides of the skillet and add the tomatoes. Cook and toss another 2-3 minutes until the tomatoes are just about to pop. Stir in the fresh thyme and remove from heat.  Sprinkle the yellow squash recipe with Parmesan cheese and serve warm.  Yield: 6 servings.

(Adapted from original recipe here.)


Grilled Summer Squash with Charred Chickpeas, Raisins + Garlic-Yogurt Sauce

3 medium, mixed summer squash (such as zucchini, yellow, pattypan), cut lengthwise into 1-inch wedges

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

½ teaspoon lemon zest plus lemon wedges for serving

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

4 garlic cloves

¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

¼ cup golden raisins

1 cup whole milk Greek yogurt

Preheat grill to medium-high. While grill heats, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil and lemon zest in a large rectangular dish; add squash and turn to coat. Season squash with salt and pepper. Finely grate garlic cloves (you should have about 1 teaspoon). Toss chickpeas with 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon garlic, cayenne, paprika and cinnamon. Season with salt and pepper. Place a large square of foil on a work surface; place chickpeas in the center. Crinkle and gather the edges of the foil to create a packet. (Reserve bowl.) Add squash to one side of the grill and packet on the other. Grill, turning squash and shaking packet occasionally, until squash is tender and chickpeas are lightly browned, about 8 to 12 minutes. Transfer squash to a serving platter and return chickpeas to reserved bowl. Toss chickpeas with parsley and raisins; scatter over squash. In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and remaining 1/2 teaspoon garlic; season with salt and pepper. Spoon yogurt over vegetables, drizzle with olive oil if desired, and serve with lemon wedges.  Serves 4.

(Original recipe here.)