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On Your Mark, Get Set: Squash!

2010 August 24

by Brianna Bain

Seems there couldn’t be a better time to Relay Squash, it’s that time of year. Summer squash is everywhere, including my weekly CSA delivery.  So I am thankful that Sarah brought  zucchini squash into the relay last week with her Veggie Burger Delight. I can now I rid my stash and share with you a very easy and  delicious creation. I have been experimenting with the bounty of summer  squash by scouring my cookbooks and  family recipes to try and make something a little different. In the process I have uncovered some fun and unusual (for me) ways to eat this tasty, colorful and versatile fruit. That’s right, I said Fruit!

Full of vitamins and minerals,  squash is very flavorful – easily eaten steamed with a drizzle of olive oil and a pinch of salt YUM! It is also one of the easiest fruits to cultivate and has a reputation for overwhelming production. I can remember as a child my dad trying to give squash away to everyone who stopped by the house. Most people politely took it, but some seemed reluctant. In fact, I have been one of those reluctant receivers. For many it’s difficult to imagine what to make with a two foot zucchini? There has to be a limit to how many zucchini bread you can make…. Right?

As I have ventured away from the fail safe zucchini bread and found many delightful ways to use squash, I have recently wandered into the world of cold summer salads.  Cold and raw are not typical serving suggestions for Squash.  It is usually served cooked – grilled, stuffed,  baked, shredded  and formed into patties, put into breads and pancakes, and breaded, seasoned and fried.  We can’t forget the tasty flowers of these amazing plants – sauteed, stuffed or even added to pizza!  Ah… yet another versatile fruit of the earth that  I have learned to appreciate even more this year than last.

This week I am attempting a  cold squash salad.  Inspired by my mother’s longtime use of raw yellow squash as a topping for salads, adding a kick of color and addicting crunch. You may have never tried raw squash as a main dish, but this just might  be the cold summery squash salad that will have you willfully accepting  your neighbors garden overflow while keeping things a little cooler in the kitchen for these hot summer days.

I’ll see you Thursday for some squash in the raw!