On Your Mark, Get Set: Squash!
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!