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Too many summer squash? July 27, 2012

Posted by ourfriendben in gardening, recipes.
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Silence Dogood here. This time of year, we’re absolutely inundated with summer squash. We boil them up with onions. We slice them into salads. We roast them with olive oil and herbs. But there are still more than we can eat or give away. (Frankly, I think the neighbors have started locking their doors if they see me coming with a bag.)

If you’re in the same boat, try this decadent recipe for summer squash casserole. It will have your family loving summer squash again in no time!    

        Silence’s Super Squash Casserole

5-6 yellow zucchini or crookneck squash

1 package frozen white corn, or kernels sliced from 6 ears

1 8-ounce carton sour cream

1 large sweet onion (Vidalia or WallaWalla type)

4 garlic scapes, if available

1 small carton mushrooms (button, baby bella, crimini, shiitake, mixed, if possible)

1 package stuffing/dressing (as Pepperidge Farm) or coarsely crushed crackers (oyster, Saltine, Ritz)

2 eggs

1 stick salted butter

1 teaspoon salt

8-10 fresh basil leaves

Grease 9 x 13″ baking dish. Chop onion and sautee in butter until clarified. Slice mushrooms and add. Chop garlic scapes and add. Tear basil leaves and add. (Dried oregano and thyme may also be added, to taste.) Add salt. When mushrooms have cooked down, add corn and cook on low until liquid has mostly evaporated. Meanwhile, slice yellow squash, then quarter slices, and boil until tender. Beat eggs. Drain squash and stir in sauteed veggies, eggs, and sour cream to blend. Melt remaining butter in saute pan. Pour squash mixture into baking dish. Top with stuffing/dressing or crackers. Pour melted butter on top. Bake at 350 degrees F. for an hour. Enjoy!

               ‘Til next time,

                            Silence

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Super summer squash recipes. June 12, 2008

Posted by ourfriendben in recipes.
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Silence Dogood here. The other day, Aunt Debbi of Aunt Debbi’s Garden (http://auntdebbisgarden.blogspot.com/) wrote a post called “Tastes Like Summer” featuring recipes for summer squash and zucchini. I was so impressed with her Squash Casserole #2 and Fried Zucchini and Yellow Squash recipes that I wrote them out on my recipe cards (crediting them to her, of course) and plan to make them for our friend Ben and friends as soon as summer squash arrives at our local farmers’ market and CSA (or as soon as we have enough of our own golden zucchini, whichever comes first!). Yum! Go check out all her luscious summer squash recipes right now. Then come back and check out mine.

Normally, I wouldn’t have posted summer squash recipes for another month, but Aunt Debbi asked if any of us had additional recipes to share, which reminded me that not everyone in the blogosphere lives in scenic Pennsylvania, and plenty of summer squash-loving folks already have squash coming in. So I thought I’d share two of my own favorites, and of course, thinking about them makes me want to rush out and try to find some summer squash right now…

Before I give you the recipes, I should say that, unless you grew up with yellow crookneck squash, you may not understand what the big deal is. But for Southerners, summer squash, crookneck or straight, is as much a part of summer as corn on the cob. I grew up eating a “mess” of summer squash sliced and boiled with chopped onions until extremely well done, then served with ample butter and salt (and plenty of black pepper for those who enjoy it). Served as a summer side dish with spinach, green beans, okra, or sliced ripe tomatoes, that squash was so good. Add corn cakes and slaw and it was heaven! On my own in grad school, I discovered that finely sliced yellow summer squash made a beautiful addition to salads, and that the somewhat porous slices would absorb the flavor of dressings and flavorings. Yum-o!!!

But giving summer squash a starring role in a casserole, or enjoying it as an ensemble player in a vegetable curry, brings a whole new level of appreciation to this undeservedly overlooked veggie. I urge you to try my casserole and, if you enjoy spicier fare, the curry. You may never look at a summer squash the same way again! And, like Aunt Debbi, I urge you to share your own treasured recipes with us.

              Silence’s Super Squash Casserole

5-6 yellow summer squash

1 package frozen white corn, or kernels sliced from 6 ears

1 8-ounce carton sour cream

1 large sweet onion (Vidalia or WallaWalla type)

4 garlic scapes, if available

1 small carton mushrooms (button, baby bella, crimini, shiitake, mixed, if possible)

1 package stuffing/dressing (as Pepperidge Farm) or coarsely crushed crackers (oyster, Saltine, Ritz)

2 eggs

1 stick salted butter

1 teaspoon salt

8-10 fresh basil leaves

Grease 9 x 13″ baking dish. Chop onion and sautee in butter until clarified. Slice mushrooms and add. Chop garlic scapes and add. Tear basil leaves and add. (Dried oregano and thyme may also be added, to taste.) Add salt. When mushrooms have cooked down, add corn and cook on low until liquid has mostly evaporated. Meanwhile, slice squash, then quarter slices, and boil until tender. Beat eggs. Drain squash and stir in sauteed veggies, eggs, and sour cream to blend. Melt remaining butter in saute pan. Pour squash mixture into baking dish. Top with stuffing/dressing or crackers. Pour melted butter on top. Bake at 350 degrees F. for an hour. 

              Silence’s Superb Vegetable Curry

2 large sweet onions (Vidalia or WallaWalla type), diced

4 large carrots, sliced

1 large box button mushrooms, sliced

4 ‘Yukon Gold’ potatoes (can substitute any large new potatoes), sliced and halved or quartered

2 large summer squash or 4 small summer squash, sliced

half a broccoflower, orange cauliflower, or white cauliflower, broken into florets

fresh ginger, minced

1/2 to 3/4 cup golden and dark raisins and chopped dried apricots

Rice, at least a cup (cooked) per person

Melt 3/4 to 1 stick of butter in a heavy Dutch oven or very large, heavy pan. Add at least a tablespoon each of black mustardseeds, cumin, and minced fresh ginger, along with a heaping teaspoon each of whole fenugreek seeds, garam masala, curry powder, turmeric, and salt. Add a generous splash of hot pepper sauce (we like Pickapeppa). Saute onion in mixture until clarified. (If at any point the mixture begins sticking, rather than adding yet more butter, add veggie stock or water as needed.) Add mushrooms and cook down. Once the mushrooms are done, add potatoes, broccoflower or cauliflower florets, and carrots, along with enough veggie stock or water to not quite cover them. Add the dried fruit. I like to stir in a heaping tablespoon or two of chutney or marmalade at this point, too.

Cover the Dutch oven or pan with its lid, reduce heat to a simmer, and let the veggies cook until tender. Once everything’s cooked and meltingly tender, cook the rice and as it cooks uncover the curry, allowing the moisture to evaporate until it’s very thick.

Serve over rice with plain yogurt, mint sauce, tamarind and/or mango chutney, toasted unsweetened coconut, slivered almonds, and/or anything else to taste. I like to make sides of Indian-spiced spinach and a thick dal (lentil porridge with lots of onion and spices), and serve samosas with spicy mint sauce as an appetizer (no, I don’t make the samosas, I buy them frozen from Tandoor Chef and heat ’em up in the toaster oven, yum). I’m not a beer drinker, but our friend Ben says that beer goes well with Indian food. I think a white Zin or drier Riesling is good with it, too. And of course I always provide plenty of ice water to help put the fire out, but I always point out to yogurt-averse guests that that’s what that plain yogurt does, too, in addition to adding protein and making a pleasant taste contrast.

Okay, all. If you want the recipe for Dal a la Silence or my Rich Indian Rice recipe, just give me a shout. I’m actually planning to make them all tonight for our friend Ben and our friend Rudy. They’re oh so good, I promise. But so is any summer squash recipe you love. Good times!!!

                ‘Til next time,

                              Silence