- Summer squash, sliced into 1/2 inch pieces
- Small amount of water
- Balsamic vinegar
Ninety percent of the time, we eat squash the simplest way possible next to eating it raw, which you can do if it is a smaller squash. Just slice it up into 1/2 inch slices (cut again into half-moons if you like), and steam in a steamer basket or simply boil a small amount of water in the bottom of a pan–just about covering the bottom and a little more, but not enough to cover the squash–and toss in the squash for about a minute. Scoop it out and drizzle with balsamic vinegar, then sprinkle with a little salt. Add any other spices you like, such as red pepper flakes.
SUMMER SQUASH LASAGNA
Thanks to Kathy Hamel for this idea! We made this last week, and naturally ate an entire 9 x 12 pan in one sitting. The idea here is more important than the recipe—the veggie filling can really be almost whatever you like, just cooked down in a saucepan before you put it in the lasagna configuration. While most lasagna recipes call for tomato sauce, now’s the time to use a few of those fresh tomatoes from your share!
- One large zucchini or a few smaller patty pans
- 1 pound ground beef (optional!)
- black pepper
- onion, diced
- garlic, minced
- fresh tomato, diced
- tomato paste
- red wine, splash (optional)
- chopped fresh basil
- 1 egg
- 1 container (15 oz or so) ricotta cheese
- chopped fresh parsley
- 2 cups kale, chopped finely
- 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
- shredded mozzarella cheese
- grated Parmesan cheese
1) Preheat oven to 325F.
2) Prepare the squash by slicing it into ¼ inch slices, then lay it out and sprinkle it with salt so that the squash will “sweat” out its water. This takes about 10 minutes, and you should do each side and dab with a rag or paper towel. With a zucchini, the cutting is easy, since you can just slice it the long way. With the patty pans, you’ll have to be a little more creative, but it’s totally do-able. Smaller slices of squash layered in the lasagna make for easier serving, anyhow.
3) If you’re using meat, now’s the time to cook it in a skillet with a little black pepper. After about 5 minutes, add in the onion and garlic. When the meat is no longer pink, splash in some red wine, stir in tomato paste, diced tomatoes, kale, basil and oregano. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer until the sauce is as thick as you prefer.
4) Stir egg, ricotta and parsley together in a bowl until well mixed.
5) To assemble the lasagna, lightly grease a baking dish. First scoop in some of the meat/vegetable sauce, then add a layer of sliced squash, followed by the ricotta and mozzarella. Top with Parmesan.
6) Cover with foil and bake for about 45 minutes. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving.
ZUCCHINI OVEN CHIPS
Someone in the Garrison group mentioned making these last week–what a great idea! A little bit of a more exciting way to eat squash, and probably not too difficult to convince the kids to devour them.
1/4 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons milk
2 1/2 cups (sliced 1/4 inch thick) slices of zucchini (about two small ones)
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Combine first five ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring with a whisk. Place milk in a shallow bowl. Dip zucchini slices in milk, and then mush in the bread crumb mixture, coating well. Place coated slices on an ovenproof wire rack (if you have one…not necessary) and place rack on a baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until brown and crisp.
RATATOUILLE (rat-tat-too-ee) (thanks to the Food Network for the proportions and basic directions)
Ratatouille is known as the quintessential poor man’s meal. It’s super simple in its preparation and can vary in its ingredients.
- 1/4 cup olive oil, plus more as needed
- 1 1/2 cups small diced yellow onion
- at least 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 cups medium diced eggplant, with skin on
- 1/2 tsp thyme
- 2 cups diced summer squash (patty pan will do just as well as zucchini, though zucchini is typically called for)
- 1 1/2 cups seeded and diced tomatoes
- if you want to remove the skin, simply pour very hot water over the tomatoes and the skin should slip of when you pinch it
- 2 cups diced bell peppers OPTIONAL
- 1 tbsp basil
- 1 tbsp parsley
- salt and ground pepper
- Parmesan cheese, grated (amount depends on your taste!)
- cilantro, for garnish on top
Set a large 12-inch saute pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. Once hot, add the onions and garlic to the pan. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until they are wilted and lightly caramelized, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the eggplant and thyme to the pan and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the eggplant is partially cooked, about 5 minutes. Add the green and red peppers, zucchini, and squash and continue to cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, parsley, and salt and pepper, to taste, and cook for a final 5 minutes. Stir well to blend and serve either hot or at room temperature. If you like, either sprinkle each serving generously with the Parmesan cheese, or put the ratatouille in a a baking dish and sprinkle that generously, and let it broil until the cheese is golden and bubbly. Also, if you fancy, this tastes great with a cilantro garnish.