Monday, August 25, 2008

Squash has overrun our home!

This being only the 2ND year we have a garden (and it's been expanded on from last year, even), we're still learning how much we need to plant to provide for our family. T has taken on the garden - and over did it just a smidgen on the yellow squash (by just a smidgen, I mean we're buried in gourds).

Yellow squash from our 2008 garden

Normally, we just slice and grill. I've tried a bunch of different recipes to change it up a bit (I'll share below). But today, I'm trying something new. Freezing.

First I hand washed the garden filth off my veggies. I dried them with a hand towel and placed them in my colander until I was ready for them.

I then seeded and chopped them into small, bite sized pieces.

I placed the pieces on parchment lined baking sheets and put them in the freezer.

I'll leave them in the freezer for a few hours to make sure they're frozen through. Then I'll transfer them to freezer bags. I've opted not to blanch them in hopes of keeping the mush at bay (or at least to a minimum). We'll see later this winter how this experiment goes.

Now for the good stuff. Recipes. These were all a success in our house (I wouldn't suggest them if we didn't like them).

The first one is something a friend suggested. I tweaked her suggestion and flew with it. I don't have any measurements (as I was flying by the seat of my pants - not something I do often when cooking. I'm a recipe follower....)

Squash Tomato Pasta

I started off with a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in my saute pan. I put in a couple chopped cloves of garlic and a thinly sliced onion. Then I added my squash chunks and cooked them through. I added a splash of Shiraz (red wine), a can of diced tomatoes and a handful of chopped fresh basil. After letting it simmer a few minutes, I mixed in a generous amount of grated Parmesan cheese. We tossed it with cooked linguine.

The following 2 recipes I got out of Parents Magazine (August 2008 issue). You'll find the article and more fresh produce recipes by clicking on the link.

Squash Nuggets

"Dip sliced squash into Italian dressing then in a mixture of seasoned bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Arrange on a parchment lined baking sheet and bake at 450 degrees F for 10 minutes, or until browned."

Yellow Submarines

Parents version:
"Saute 1/2 cup chopped peppers in hot oil for 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley, salt and pepper to taste, 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, and 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese. Fill four hollow yellow squash halves. Sprinkle with more Jack cheese; bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes."

My kicked up version (the Parents version just wasn't stuffed enough for us!):
Chop: 1 red pepper, 1 green pepper, 3-4 celery stalks, a small onion and a couple of big mushrooms; saute in hot oil until veggies are tender. Stir in chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste, a handful of shredded Monterey Jack and a tablespoon of Parmesan. Fill four hollow squash halves and bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

Just a little variety from plain old grilled squash slices!

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