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Posts Tagged ‘squash recipes’

Squash Fears of Squash (and Make Awesome Squash Recipes)

Squash

This isn’t summer, folks. Gone are the easy days of slicing up raw cucumbers and tomatoes, sprinkling them with salt and calling it a meal. Fall vegetables take a lot more determination and know-how. Winter squashes —those vibrantly-colored gourds that double as centerpieces — are a case in point, with their intimidatingly hard shell. But once you crack your way in, delicious fall and winter dishes are yours for the making. So let’s eliminate those concerns:

How do I cut them? Use a sharp, large knife. Start to cut by placing the knife on top and giving it a good whack in the center of the squash. Cover the sharp end of the knife with a towel and rock the knife back and forth.

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Fall in Love with Squash

I recently went home to Nebraska to visit my parents’ pumpkin patch, a fall festival open only during the month of October. While I love the abundance of festive jack-o’-lantern pumpkins, I also have another reason I love going to the pumpkin patch: winter squash. This year I took interest in the different varieties of squash my dad grows on the farm for some post-Halloween eating.

Some of my favorites include Acorn’s yellow-hued cousin called Cream of the Crop, which has a mellow, delicious flavor. I also enjoy the Southern favorite Cushaw Green Striped Squash, which has a slightly sweet flesh great for pies and good seeds for roasting. Delicata Squash is very sweet and a great addition to soups or for baking. The warty, deep green Marina di Chioggia squash is an Italian variety, so it makes sense to use it in pasta and ravioli. The options for unique squash eating are endless; try Blue Hubbard, Buttercup, Flat White Boer, and Banana Pink Jumbo varieties. I’ve only begun to try out some of these, and I’m excited for my squash eating adventures to continue.

Five favorite squash recipes:

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Summer Fest: Our Top 5 Favorite Squash Recipes

No Cook Summer Squash Salad with Lemon and Herbs

Our season-long garden party Summer Fest 2012 welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll feature favorite garden-to-table recipes and tips to help you enjoy the bounty, whether you’re harvesting your own goodies or buying them fresh from the market. Fresh this week: summer squash.

Any way you slice your seasonal squash it’s going to taste delicious. And since all of the parts of squash are edible, from the flesh to the skin, you can eat it in a variety of ways. Slice it thinly on a mandoline, cut it into chunks and top it with cheese or hollow out part of the inside and serve it stuffed.

Here are our favorite ways to cook summer squash:

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Meatless Monday: Grilled Squash Quesadillas with Tomato Salsa

squash quesadilla

Manchego and squash-filled quesadillas served with homemade tomato salsa.

It’s not too difficult to go meatless on Mondays in the summer. I mean, have you been to the farmers’ market lately? The stands are overflowing with tomatoes in every variety and color, squash, zucchini, onions, beans, watermelon, and peaches; from a produce standpoint, it’s the best time of the year. My struggle with the market is restraining myself from wiping out the full stock of heirlooms or those tiny, yellow tomatoes that taste like candy. And if you’re lucky enough to have a garden, you’re bringing in quite the bounty from your yard, too. So like I said, eating vegetables on a summer Monday shouldn’t be a challenge. It might be tougher to stop scarfing down vegetables than it is to start.

So while you’re at the farmstand or in your garden, grab a bunch of zucchini or summer squash and some tomatoes. You’ll need them for this irresistible squash quesadilla. It’s comforting in the way that Tex-Mex food is, with little pockets of melted cheese topped with spicy salsa, but this version of the standard quesadilla is full of smoky, grilled squash. It’s so good, you might want to make two batches.

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