Summer squash recipes

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The zucchini are coming in, and once they start, they can get overwhelming. I wanted to share one of my favorite ways to make use of the abundance: zucchini corn soup. It tastes like a chowder but without any dairy because the zucchini thickens it when pureed.

Zucchini Corn SoupZucchini Corn Soup
(adapted from Love & Olive Oil)

1 pound yellow summer squash
2 ears corn (shucked, and kernels cut from the cob, KEEP cob)
3 large shallots (diced)
2 large garlic cloves (minced)
1 fresh jalapeño chile (diced)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
To cut the kernels from the cob, work over a bowl or a pie tin. Be sure to keep the cob.

In a 5-quart heavy kettle combine all ingredients (including cobs) except broth and cook over moderate heat, stirring, 3 minutes. Stir in broth and simmer mixture until squash is very tender, about 20-30 minutes. Discard cobs. In a blender puree mixture in batches until smooth (use caution when blending hot liquids), or use an immersion blender. Season soup with salt and pepper. Divide soup between 2 bowls and garnish with extra corn, chiles, cilantro, and squash.

This is a good base that can be adapted with many different spices, like a southwestern corn soup, or a much spicier version.

It freezes very well too! I tend to make a triple batch with all my zucchini and freeze it.

Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Use a vegetable peeler to make long ribbons out of your zucchini. Then toss them on the grill or in a fry pan for just a few minutes. Toss it with some salad greens, feta cheese and your favorite vinaigrette. Here’s a basic recipe to get you started.

And here’s a few recipes that I haven’t tried yet, but will this summer:

Zucchini Walnut Thyme Soup

The “creamy” here comes from souped and blended walnuts. Use good quality nuts: they are important for taste as well as texture. I have written this up with walnuts and thyme, but I just know it would be fabulous with mint, basil and pine nuts.”

View recipe

 

 

Carrot Zucchini Bread

 

“This bread is a little bit denser than a carrot cake and not quite as sweet, but it tastes just as incredible.

It has such a soft and moist crumb thanks to all the moisture from the shredded carrots and zucchini. It also has just the right amount of sweetness and the perfect touch of cinnamon.”

View recipe

 

Have a favorite zucchini recipe? Leave a comment and share it :)

At the Farmer’s Market: May

Hey everyone, sorry I haven’t posted much recently. Been working on gathering a bunch of information that is scattered all over the internet: when to plant each crop, and when they are in season (for the Farmers Markets). It isn’t done yet, but I did want to share what’s in season for May, along with a few recipes.

Normally I like to try recipes before I share them, but I haven’t had time for all of these. If you do try some, tell me how they turn out. And if you have a favorite, share it!!!

Coming soon (Early summer, around June): Raspberries, blackberries, corn, tomatoes

Resources: Books, Magazines and Catalogs

I’ve only recommended things that I’ve tried myself and liked :) Leave a comment with your favorites and I’ll add them to this list.

Magazines:

  • Organic Gardening: I get this magazine and it has fun articles and tips. This is higher level, as it doesn’t cover gardening basics that most beginners need.
  • Sunset Magazine: Cooking, Gardening, and mini-vacation advice all meant for the West Coast. I really enjoy it and always walk away with a few good recipes and ideas for day-trips. I also learn a lot of tricks, like how to repot a houseplant. (Digital version is included with your subscription)
  • Cooks Illustrated: I LOVE this magazine. It tells you how and why recipes work – the Thescience behind it. This is great for a geek like me and it has really helped me become a better cook. The magazine has no ads.

Books:

There are so many I’ve tried! I’ll keep adding to this list as I go through my notes from books I’ve borrowed from the library.

  • Fast, Fresh & Green: A great book on different cooking techniques for vegetables, from roasting to sauteing to steaming. Free digital copy from the Library.
  • The Smitten Kitchen: A cookbook from a great food blogger and photographer. Free digital copy from the Library.
  • Farm to Table Cookbook: I haven’t tried this yet, but it’s on my list! Free digital copy from the library.
  • Simply Organic: Great book that also focuses on eating with the seasons. Free digital copy from the library.
  • More coming soon!
  • A note about the Library system. If you don’t have a Peninsula Library Card, get one. Our system is fantastic! There’s a library in Belmont on Alemeda De Las Pulgas, between the Carlmont Shopping Center and Carlmont High School. You can get digital books for your kindle (or other e-reader). You can also have them deliver a book from any Peninsula Library to the one of your choice (for $0.75). So I get all of my books delivered to the Belmont Library.

Seed Catalogs:

  • Baker’s Creed / Rare Seeds (the prettiest catalog you’ll ever see! But missing some basic info in the catalog, like days to maturity. You need to reference the site for some of the info)
  • Seeds of Change
  • High Mowing Seeds
  • Tomato Fest (no catalog, but over 600 varieties of heirloom tomatoes, which pictures for each one)
  • Generic Seeds (no catalog and no specialty items, but super low prices and cheap shipping)
  • Gurney’s (almost always has a $25 off $50 coupon running, be sure to look for one before making a purchase)
  • The Cook’s Garden (I haven’t ordered from them yet, but their catalogs sure look great! They also offer bundled seed packs, targeting home cooks. For example ‘Gourmet Salad Collection’)

 

Vegetable Roasting Guidelines

Want to roast some of the season’s vegetables? You often don’t need a recipe since  and sauteing brings out the natural flavors of the vegetables. You just need a little olive oil, salt, and pepper. For roasting and grilling vegetables, I can’t live without my Misto ($9.99 on Amazon) – it sprays a really fine mist of whatever oil you choose, which turns out better than my sad attempts at ‘drizzling’ olive oil.

I’ve collected some basic cooking temperatures and times for roasting your favorite garden veggies. Enjoy!

  • Asparagus: Toss with olive oil and roast at 450 degreens for 10 – 15 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper before serving.
  • Broccoli: Toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 450 degrees for 10 -12 minutes.
  • Califlower: Toss with olive oil and cook at 450 degrees for 15-20 minutes. For fun a fun variation, drizzle balsamic vinegar over it before serving.
  • Carrots and Parsnips: cut lengthwise and toss with olive oil. Cook at 450 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes, turning mid way through). They will start to brown when they are done. For a fun variation, toss with orange juice and balsamic vinegar before serving.
  • Green Beans: Toss with olive oil, roast at 450 degrees for about 12 minutes. They will start to wrinkled and turn brown when done.
  • Eggplant: Slice eggplant and brush both sides with olive oil. Roast at 425 degrees for 20 minutes, turning mid way through. They will start to brown when done.
  • Leeks: Trim the green tops to within 2 inches of the white part, and cut in half lengthwise. Brush with olive oil and wrap in foil. Roast at 450 degreens for 15 to 20 minutes. Then sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper to eat.
  • Shallots: Toss with olive oil and cook at 450 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, stirring often. They’ll be tender and brown around the edges when they are done.
  • Squash (Acorn, Buttercup, Butternut): Cut in half and scrape out seeds. Oil a baking sheet and place the squash on it, cut side down. Roast at 400 degrees for 35 to 40 minutes (add 10 extra minutes for butternut squash). For a fun variation, drizzle butter and brown sugar on before serving.
  • Sweet Potatoes: slice or cube, then toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 450 degrees for 20 – 25 minutes.
  • Yukon Gold and Red Potatoes: cut into cubes or wedges and toss with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 450 degrees for 25-35 minutes.