Both summer and winter quashes are members of the gourd family and are native to the Americas. All summer squashes are similar in flavor. They may be shredded or cut into thin slices and eaten raw, or cooked by sautéing, stir frying, boiling, steaming or broiling. Zucchini and cookneck yellow squash can be cut into length slices, coated with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and sea salt—then grilled. (a personal favorite of mine). Sliced summer squashes can battered and pan-fried or deep fried. All summer squashes can be halved, hollowed out, filled and baked--- or made into soups, stews or, perhaps most notably, ratatouille !
Squash blossoms, particularly those of zucchini, can be sautéed and used in a quesadilla, panini, pasta or soup. They can also be filled with a seasonal cheese, then battered and deep-fried. For the upcoming Redlands Conservancy Parties for the Necklace: Feasting on the Farm, I plan to serve squash blossoms stuffed with goat cheese. Stay tuned for a future recipe and more information about this ideal summertime treat!
Storing: Put summer squashes in a perforated plastic bag and keep in the crisper section of your refrigerator for up to three days. Use squash blossoms, ideally, within 24 hours.