Thursday, June 28, 2012

Summer Squash 101

Local farmers markets are full of freshly picked Summer squash.  Both summer and winter squashes are members of the gourd family. All summer squashes are similar in flavor. They may be shredded or cut into thin slices and eaten raw, or cooked by sauteing, stir frying, boiling, steaming or broiling. Zucchini and crookneck 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 sauted and used in a quesadilla, panini, pasta or soup. They can also be filled with a herbed cheese, then battered and deep-fried. No matter how you prepare them, squash blossoms are always a hit on any summer menu.

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. Store blossoms wrapped in damp paper towel, inside a plastic airtight bag.

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