Sunday, July 13, 2008

On the summer squash that is threatening to take over my entire back yard.

The jungle stands by, poised to take back civilization. You wake up one day, surprised to discover that the kudzu has swallowed up your front porch. That's the situation with summer squash in our garden right now. I say "summer squash" because I planted about five different varieties of the stuff. But almost all of it turned out to be regular green zucchini. Not sure what happened with that.

Anyway. As you can see, it is growing across the path. It's about ready to climb our fence and grow into our neighbor's yard. I expect to come home one of these days and find that my house looks like a Mayan ruin, barely visible and straining under a canopy of ginormous straight-necked green squash. And we're only three weeks into zucchini season. Be afraid.

So far I have made:
  1. Steamed squash with rice. Blah.
  2. Grilled squash. You just put a little oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper on whole baby squash, wrap them in foil, and grill them for twenty minutes or so.
  3. Zucchini bread. (Thanks Paula Deen! Although anything would taste good with three cups of refined white sugar in it, let's face it.)
  4. Fritatta with grated zucchini and carrot (based loosely on the zucchini fritatta recipe in Deborah Madison's Vegetarian Cooking For Everyone).
  5. Homemade pasta sauce with squash (make sauce; add squash).
I am planning to try:
  1. Fried squash blossoms.
  2. Baked overgrown giant zucchini stuffed with wild rice pilaf.
  3. Summer squash pureed soup, per my mother's suggestion.
Also, if you want any squash, for heaven's sake, please speak up.


  1. There's a zucchini pizza crust in the Moosewood cookbook that I've been wanting to try. If I still lived in your area I'd definitely pick up some squash!

  2. Oh, I'd definitely be in for squash. Admittedly, my CSA keeps sending squash in my box, but...well, what you said about the three cups of refined sugar.

    Zucchini can also be roasted (probably tastes about the same as grilling). I put it on pizza with tomatoes, although that doesn't use up terribly much of it. I could see making a pretty decent tart with it, though. Or maybe something like latkes, only made of squash?

  3. Actually, I've tried zucchini latkes, and they're really good. They don't have enough starch to stick by themselves, however, so you should combine them with shredded russet potato (about half-and-half is good).

    Also, zucchs are moister than potato. Squeeze, squeeze, and then squeeze some more.

  4. i've been getting really into young raw zucchs, esp with a hummus (made with your preserved lemons to much acclaim). as long as they're small. which is also preventative!

  5. I never understood the whole zucchini cake thing... does it really contribute to the composition or is it just a way to sneak squash into yummy desserts?

  6. Anne, I think it's like carrot cake, although zucchs don't have as strong a flavor as carrots, they do lend a little bit of sweetness. Also, a pleasantly chewy texture. But yeah, mostly - it's a way to get rid of squash. Unfortunately, it's not even that good for that. Two cups of shredded zucchini for two loaves, which isn't even one giant overgrown zucchini (it would be about two normal sized ones). Not much help when you are virtually buried in the stuff, but we're making a valiant effort nonetheless.

    Elizabeth, sadly, I think I lost my taste for raw zucchini years ago, during the zucchini flood of '94, if I remember correctly. That and steamed zucchini. Serious burnout.

    Hummous, on the other hand, sounds wonderful, and I'd probably enjoy it even on a bland raw zucch. I'm thrilled that you are using the pickled lemon and enjoying it! Yum!


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