Summer Squash and Corn Casserole

Summer Squash and Corn Casserole 2

Squash Casserole is a Southern staple. This is the best one I have ever made. Ever. I went all out with the addition of mayonnaise, sour cream, and lots of cheese, foregoing previous attempts at trying to make squash casserole healthier. It tasted so good. It really needs those ingredients to make it rich and creamy. The extra calories are worth it!

I love the addition of corn. It’s sweetness compliments the squash so well. I used pattypan squash from my CSA share for this particular casserole. You could use yellow squash and/or zucchini instead (or in combination).

Summer Squash and Corn Casserole

Summer Squash and Corn Casserole

6 – 8 summer squash (yellow or pattypan), sliced and cut into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups frozen (or fresh) corn kernels
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup breadcrumbs + 1/4 cup for topping
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Cook the sliced squash in salted boiling water until tender, but not mushy, about 5 – 8 minutes. Drain well in a colander. I press the squash down with a spoon to remove as much moisture as possible.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and starting to brown. Add the minced garlic and cook a few more minutes. Turn off heat.

In a large bowl combine the drained squash, browned onions and garlic, corn, mayonnaise, sour cream, breadcrumbs, cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup of breadcrumbs over the top.

Bake in the 350 oven for 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


Stewed Yellow Squash and Tomatoes

Stewed Yellow Squash and Tomatoes

This dish just screams, “summer!!” And it’s perfect for those summer months when you are overrun with squash.

You can make this with zucchini instead of yellow squash or with a combination of both. You can also use fresh tomatoes instead of canned, but you may need to add a little bit of water to the skillet with them.

Stewed Squash and Tomatoes

Stewed Yellow Squash and Tomatoes

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
4 medium yellow squash, cut into bite-size chunks
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes, with juices
salt and pepper, to taste

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the squash and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until the squash is just tender (but not mushy), about 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook one minute longer. Next, add the diced tomatoes and their juices. Lower the heat slightly and continue to cook, stirring often, until most of the liquid has cooked out and the squash has reached the desired tenderness, approximately 5 minutes. Season to taste with more salt and pepper.


Roasted Ratatouille

Roasted Ratatouille

Onions, squash, and Japanese eggplant were just a few of the vegetables I got in my CSA box this week. They were delicious when combined with bell pepper and tomato, tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and then roasted. There is no denying that this combination of veggies is a winner.

This recipe can easily be doubled. Use a second baking sheet to avoid overcrowding the veggies.

When dicing the vegetables, try to keep all the pieces about the same size so they will cook evenly.

This recipe makes about 2 side dish-sized servings.

Roasted Ratatouille

1 onion, diced
1 zucchini, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
1 bell pepper (your choice of color), cored and diced
1 Japanese eggplant, diced (no need to peel)
1 tomato, diced (or a couple handfuls of cherry tomatoes, halved)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
crumbled goat cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Toss the diced veggies with the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Spread on the prepared baking sheet.

Roasted Ratatouille 2

Roast in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until well-browned, turning half way through cooking.

Roasted Ratatouille 3

Serve warm, with crumbled goat cheese on top, if you prefer.

Roasted Ratatouille with Goat Cheese


Oven-Fried Squash

Oven Fried Squash

I don’t fry things often (mostly because frying makes such a mess and I don’t want to clean it up). If I’m in the mood for that type of food, I’m more likely to use the oven-fry method. Summer squash and eggplant turn out especially well “fried” in the oven.

I usually eat oven-fried squash with ketchup (I LOVE ketchup), but marinara sauce and Ranch dressing are really good too. Oven-fried zucchini is also wonderful layered in a casserole dish with marinara and mozzarella (Zucchini Parmesan) and baked in the oven at 350° F. until warmed through and the cheese is melted.

Fried Yellow Squash

Oven-Fried Squash

3 medium yellow squash and/or zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups bread crumbs (or panko) (you may end up needing more)
salt and pepper
cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

Using a fork, beat the eggs in a shallow dish or bowl. Season the eggs with salt and pepper.

Pour the bread crumbs (or panko) into another shallow dish and season with salt and pepper.

Set up a little assembly line in this order:  beaten eggs, bread crumbs, and then sheet pan.

Dip the squash circles into the beaten eggs, letting the excess drip back into the dish. Now dredge in the bread crumbs, turning to coat both sides evenly. You can use a fork or tongs to do this to keep your hands from getting messy. Place the breaded squash on the baking sheet. Repeat for all the squash slices. You may need another baking sheet. You may also need to replenish the bread crumbs if you run out.

Spray the breaded squash lightly with cooking spray (or drizzle with olive oil). Bake until golden brown on both sides, about 30 to 40 minutes. Turn the squash once halfway through baking.


Skillet Eggs with Summer Squash and Kale

Skillet Eggs with Summer Squash and Kale

I made this dish for breakfast this morning to use onions, squash, and kale from this week’s CSA box. I like to incorporate vegetables into my breakfast dishes. I feel like I get a nutritious jump on the day when I do.

I like savory foods, especially eggs, for breakfast. Eggs are one of my favorite protein sources. I like my eggs runny, but my husband likes his egg yolks to be cooked through. I will break the egg yolk in his skillet eggs and stir it a little while it is cooking so that it will cook through.

You can use any summer squash you like for this recipe. I used a zucchini and a yellow squash. You can substitute spinach for kale, if you like.

Skillet Eggs with Summer Squash and Kale 2

Skillet Eggs with Summer Squash and Kale

1 tablespoon oil
1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional)
2 large summer squash (yellow, crookneck, zucchini, ball, pattypan, etc…), cut into bite-size pieces
1 cup of chopped kale
2 – 4 eggs (1 to 2 eggs per serving)
salt and pepper, to taste
hot sauce or salsa, to serve (optional)

Heat the oil in a skillet (non-stick if you have it) over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until it starts to become tender, about 4 minutes. Add the minced jalapeno and squash. Cook until the squash starts to become tender, about 4 minutes. Stir in the kale and season the mixture with salt and pepper. Make 2 to 4 wells in the squash mixture and break an egg into each well. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper over each egg. Reduce the temperature to medium and cook until the egg whites are completely set and the yolks have began to thicken (or are cooked to your liking).


Spaghetti with Summer Vegetables

Spaghetti with Summer Vegetables 2 (640x480)

I love this recipe. Not only is this dish beautiful to look at, it is delicious and healthy, as well. This dish is perfect for summer because it’s not too heavy and it is bursting with fresh flavors, but it is also good anytime of the year.  Frozen corn works perfectly well when fresh is not available.  If you are gluten free you can use the corn spaghetti (which I get at the health food store) instead of regular spaghetti. I like crumbled goat cheese over the top, but parmesan or feta is good also.

Spaghetti with Summer Vegetables (640x480)

Spaghetti with Summer Vegetables

8 ounces spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
2 tablespoons corn oil or butter
1 small onion, quartered and thinly sliced
1 zucchini
1 yellow squash
2 cups corn kernels, from 3 ears of corn
1 bell pepper, any color, finely diced
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
3 tomatoes, halved, seeded and diced
1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
2 ounces queso fresco, feta, goat cheese, or parmesan

Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet and add the scallions, corn, bell pepper, and chile. Saute over high heat for 3 minutes, then add the tomatoes, most of the cilantro, and a ladle of the pasta water. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and a little pepper and turn the heat to low. Drain the pasta, shaking off the excess water. Add it to the vegetables and toss well. Divide among pasta plates, crumble the cheese over the top, and add the remaining cilantro.


Squash Hash Browns

Squash Hashbrowns and Eggs

Breakfast is a perfect meal to add more veggies (ahem, and this time of the year, squash) to. These squash hash browns are super yummy, especially when paired with eggs. If you wanted to add some minced onion along with the potatoes, that would be good too.

Squash Hash Browns

1 pound of potatoes (whatever variety you like or have on hand), scrubbed clean, peeled if you want
1 yellow squash, ends trimmed
1 zucchini, ends trimmed
2 cloves garlic, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
olive oil (or your favorite oil)

Using a food processor or grater, shred the potatoes. Squeeze as much moisture out of them as you can. I dump them out onto a large clean kitchen towel, wrap them up and squeeze. The less moisture in the potatoes, the crisper they will be.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a (cast iron) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, season with Kosher salt and black pepper, and let cook. Let the potatoes cook, stirring occasionally, while you are preparing the squash.

Meanwhile, shredded the yellow squash and zucchini together and squeeze out as much moisture as you can. Again, I put them in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze. Add the minced garlic to the cooking potatoes and then the shredded squash. Season with Kosher salt and black pepper, add more oil to the pan if you feel like you need to, and even the mixture out in the bottom of the skillet.

Cook until the bottom is crispy, about 6 – 8 minutes, and then using a spatula, turn the hash browns over and cook the other side until crispy. Admittedly, I have a hard time leaving hash browns alone while they are cooking. I’m constantly stirring and turning them. My thought is that they will get crispier. Do it however you like. Once the squash hash browns are browned and crispy to your satisfaction, they are ready to serve.

Squash Hashbrowns


Yellow Squash Cornbread

Yellow Squash Cornbread

The amount of yellow squash (well, squash in general) I have gotten in the past several weeks in my CSA boxes is almost overwhelming. I’m not complaining. I love squash and have been happily using all of it. There has just been a lot. I have sautéed it, put it on savory tarts, made quick breads with it, added it to veggie enchiladas, fried it, put it in soups, made casseroles with it, and  tossed it with pasta. It seems that no matter how much squash I use in recipes, I continue to find more of it tucked away in the veggie crisper. I’ve been wondering if it is multiplying overnight in the fridge.

Tonight I added mashed yellow squash to a basic cornbread recipe. I was super happy with the results. The gluten-free cornbread was moist and the flavor was not overpowered by the squash. I really liked the idea of the added nutrition the squash brings to the cornbread.  I will definitely be making this again. I served the yellow squash cornbread with black-eyed peas and fried cabbage. Southern comfort food.

Update: I made a cornbread dressing with leftover yellow squash cornbread and half a loaf of French bread. Turned out well and you could not tell there was squash in it at all. Good stuff.

Yellow Squash Cornbread

4 yellow squash, ends trimmed, sliced
2 cups yellow cornmeal
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar (or to taste)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/4 cup canola (or corn) oil
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 400° F. Spray a cast iron skillet with cooking spray and set aside.

Bring the sliced yellow squash and enough water to cover to a boil. Cook until the squash is tender. Drain well in a colander. Mash the drained squash (I use a potato masher) and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the cornmeal, baking powder, sugar, and salt. In another bowl, combine the milk, oil, and eggs. Pour the wet mixture into the dry mixture and stir to combine. Add the mashed squash and mix until well combined. Pour into the prepared cast iron skillet and bake at 400° F. until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 35 – 40 minutes.

 


Squash Ribbons

Squash Ribbons 2

This is a quick, simple, and colorful side dish. It’s a great way to use all that squash you have from your garden or CSA. This dish can easily be made vegan by using olive oil.

Squash Ribbons

2 zucchini
1 yellow squash
1 tablespoon butter or olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

Trim the ends off the zucchini and yellow squash. Using a vegetable peeler, make thin slices lengthwise down the squash until you reach the seeds. Turn the squash and make more slices until you reach the seedy center. Repeat until only the core of the squash is left. You can discard the center portion or save it for another use (cut up and throw into a vegetable soup).

Heat the butter or olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Add the squash ribbons and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, and serve

Squash Ribbons

 


Caponata on Spaghetti Squash

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Caponata is a Sicilian eggplant stew. I was introduced to caponata (served with fried goat cheese medallions) years ago at a long-gone tapas restaurant in downtown Fredericksburg, VA. I fell in love instantly.

We got our last Pinckney’s Produce CSA box of the season this week along with a challenge to create a recipe using the vegetables found in the box. The box contained Japanese eggplant, green bell peppers, tomatoes, poblanos, spaghetti squash, cubanelle peppers, cucumbers, butternut squash, and watermelon. I thought of caponata immediately.

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Caponata can be eaten as a main course, side dish, or as an appetizer (think bruschetta). I thought it would be excellent on spaghetti squash.

Caponata on Spaghetti Squash

1 spaghetti squash
6 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling over spaghetti squash
2 Japanese eggplants (or 1 Italian), diced
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 bell pepper, cored and diced
3 stalks celery, sliced
2 large tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and diced
3 tablespoons capers
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Cut the stem off the spaghetti squash and then cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard them. Drizzle the cut side of the spaghetti squash with olive oil and then season with salt and pepper. Place cut side down on the foil-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes until the squash is tender.

While the spaghetti squash is baking, heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the diced onion and sauté until it starts to get soft, about 5 minutes. Add the minced garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the eggplant, bell pepper, tomatoes, capers,  and balsamic vinegar. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Scrape the spaghetti squash meat out of the skin with a fork, separating the strands. Arrange on serving platter/dish and top with the caponata.