Harvesting and Using Summer Squash

Harvesting and Using Summer Squash
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Summer squash is one of my favorite vegetables. I love the yellow summer squash in particular. They should be harvested while still tender, when they have a "glossy" appearance and are still small. You will most likely need to harvest daily once they start to appear. Cut the squash from the plant leaving a short piece of the stem attached versus pulling the squash off the plant. You can store the squash in the refrigerator for 4 or 5 days, stored in plastic bags or covered containers to avoid drying out. Summer squash has a tender skin, unlike the winter varieties. Be gentle when harvesting and storing so as not to bruise the skin. Wash just before using, and as long as the squash is tender and unblemished there is no reason to peel. I thinly slice the squash and saute with julienned red potatoes and Vidalia onion. You can add herbs such as basil, sage or summer savory near the end.
You can freeze summer squash after blanching. Place the sliced or chunked squash in boiling water for a few seconds and dunk it in ice cold water immediately. Drain well and place into freezer bags, or containers, with a 1/2-inch headspace and freeze.

If you do end up with some large summer squash try scooping out the seeds and any flesh that looks tough, then stuff and bake. When I was a kid we also peeled them, sliced into fairly thin pieces, dipped the slices into egg and flour then fried in oil or butter. Granted, it's not the healthiest way to cook the squash, but it's good!

Here are a variety of recipes you can try with any of the summer squash varieties. After the recipes I give the link for the zucchini recipes and tips we have on the site.

Stuffed Summer Squash

6 yellow summer squash
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
4 green onions, chopped
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
2 tsp. minced fresh sage
2 tsp. minced fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Remove and discard stem ends of the squash. Slice the squash lengthwise, scoop out seeds and place the halves side-by-side on a baking sheet. Combine remaining ingredients in a mixing bowl. Fill the hollows in the squash evenly with the cheese mixture. Bake 15-20 minutes or until squash is tender.

Creole Summer Squash

1 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 large ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup white wine or a mild herb vinegar
1 tsp. fresh, minced thyme
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 pound young pattypan squash or yellow squash
1/2 pound young zucchini
2 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp. fresh summer savory, chopped

In large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and bell pepper; saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped tomatoes, wine, thyme, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce starts to thicken. Stir occasionally. Add the squash and the zucchini to the pan. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in balsamic vinegar and summer savory.

Grilled Summer Squash

1 pound Yellow squash, zucchini or pattypan squash
1 tsp. olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or herb vinegar
1 tsp. fresh rosemary -- chopped
Salt and pepper to season

Cut the squash in half lengthwise. Brush with a mixture of oil, fresh lemon juice and rosemary. Season with salt and pepper. Grill over medium-hot coals, 4 to 6 inches from the heat, for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every few minutes. Cook until tender.

Lemon Summer Squash

1 pound summer squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tsp. fresh rosemary, minced
2 tb fresh lemon juice or herb vinegar

Slice squash in 1/4 pieces. Heat oil in a large skillet and cook garlic 1 minute. Add squash and cook, stirring gently, until tender, for 6 to 10 minutes, depending on how you like it. Stir in remaining ingredients and heat through.

Summer Squash Fry

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 sweet onion, chopped
2-3 crushed garlic cloves
4-5 medium sized zucchini or other summer squashes
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
grated Parmesan cheese

Saute onion and garlic in the olive oil until onion is just softened. Add the squash and saute a minute or two. Stir in the stock and oregano and simmer until the liquid has almost evaporated. Serve, with a sprinkling of cheese.

Zuchinni and Yellow Squash Soup

1/4 cup olive oil
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
2 minced garlic cloves
1/4 cup flour
1 1/2 cup zucchini, 1/4 inch thick slices
1 1/2 cup yellow squash, 1/4 inch thick slices
3 cups chicken stock
3 cups whipping cream
2 tsp. minced fresh basil
2 tsp. minced fresh oregano
Salt and ground pepper

Heat oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until onion is softened, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Add flour and stir 3 more minutes. Add all of the squash and cook until softened, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes. Stir in stock, cream, basil and oregano. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Serves 6

More on Squash:
Zucchini Recipes
Winter Squash
Spaghetti Squash
Butternut Squash


About The Author

Brenda Hyde is a freelance writer living on ten acres in rural Michigan with her husband and three kids. She is a mom, grandma, gardener, cook and writer. She blogs on all of these topics at Harvestmoongazette.blogspot.com.


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Home & Garden

Harvesting and Using Summer Squash

Summer squash is one of my favorite vegetables. I love the yellow summer squash in particular. They should be harvested while still tender, when they have a "glossy" appearance and are still small. You will most likely need to harvest daily once they start to appear.

Read More…
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