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

IMG_1775 (640x480)

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.

IMG_1750 (640x480)

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.


Spaghetti Squash with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Capers

IMG_1714 (640x480)

I recently got a spaghetti squash in my CSA box. I’ve only ever cooked a spaghetti squash once before many years ago. That must not have turned out well since I have not cooked another one until today. I’m happy I got to give spaghetti squash another go. One of the things I have enjoyed most about being a CSA member is being provided produce that I wouldn’t normally buy. It has expanded my culinary horizons and that is a good thing.

One of my favorite quick pasta meals is zucchini and tomatoes sautéed with garlic in olive oil and tossed with some pasta. Why not try it with spaghetti squash? I have been on a capers kick lately, so I tossed some into the mix. I was happy with the results. The spaghetti squash really is a lot like pasta (but without the gluten and simple carbohydrates). What a healthy and satisfying meal. Next time I might add a splash of balsamic vinegar or fresh lemon juice to the zucchini mixture to add a little more zip and make a bit of a sauce to get down in the spaghetti squash.

Spaghetti Squash with Zucchini, Tomatoes, and Capers

1 spaghetti squash
3 tablespoons olive oil plus more for the squash
2 zucchini, quartered and sliced thinly
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoon capers
1/4 cup diced tomatoes (I like petite diced)
salt and pepper, to taste

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

Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and discard them. Drizzle the 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. Let the squash cool slightly while you prepare the zucchini mixture.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced zucchini and sauté for a minute or two. Add the minced garlic, capers, and diced tomatoes and continue to cook until the zucchini is tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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


Ratatouille II

IMG_1539 (640x480)

I had some zucchini, yellow squash and onion left over from last week’s CSA box from Pinckney’s Produce. As soon as I learned that we would be getting eggplant in this week’s box, I knew exactly what I was going to make…ratatouille. Ratatouille is the ultimate in comfort food. It’s easy to prepare, low in calories, flavorful, and packed with nutrients. I just love it. I especially like it topped with crumbled goat cheese and served with freshly baked crusty bread.

Ratatouille II

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small eggplant, cut into bite-size chunks (leave skin on)
1 zucchini, cut into bite-size chunks
1 yellow squash, cut into bite-size chunks
1 bell pepper, diced
1 15 oz. can diced tomatoes with juices (or 2 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeds removed, and diced)
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste

In a large Dutch oven heat the olive oil 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, zucchini, yellow squash, bell pepper, and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to medium-low. Gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Stir in the capers and red wine vinegar. Season with salt and pepper and serve.


Summer Squash Bread

Summer Squash Bread

For the past few weeks my CSA box has been overflowing with a variety of squash. Cue ball squash, one ball squash, eight ball squash, zucchini, pattypan, and yellow squash. I’m not a big fan of the ball squash.  They are too watery and lack flavor.  I love zucchini but am a little less fond of the yellow squash.

IMG_1301

Look at all that squash!

IMG_1320

I have actually been having nightmares about yellow squash. There is so much of it! I made a yellow squash casserole recipe a friend gave me and we didn’t like it. I ended up throwing most of it in the trash. That casserole was too sweet and had a texture that reminded us of bread pudding. It got me to thinking that I could probably get away with making my favorite zucchini bread recipe using the yellow squash instead of zucchini.

I did not set my expectations high for the summer squash bread.  I was pleasantly surprised with the results. The bread turned out fantastic! So good. My 3 year old LOVED it! He also enjoyed helping me mix up the ingredients. I’m so happy I have another delicious way to use yellow squash.

IMG_1416 (640x480)

Summer Squash Bread

1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
2 large eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 1/2 cups (lightly packed) unpeeled yellow squash, shredded – about 4 medium sized yellow squash.
1/2 cup pecans (optional)

Tip for shredding yellow squash: yellow squash have seeds in the middle, so I just grate the sides of the squash and discard the seedy middle.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Coat a 9 X 5 X 3-inch loaf pan (or 3 mini loaf pans)  with cooking spray. Set aside.

Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together eggs and oil, then stir in shredded yellow squash (and pecans if using). Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and mix together by hand. The batter will be pretty stiff. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan(s) and bake for 50 minutes (30 – 35 minutes for mini loaves) or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool slightly before serving.