Oh no! Here comes the squash!
LOCAVORE’S DELIGHT: The Series # 32. Follow us as we explore the bounty of our region’s farms.
Squash comes from the Cucurbita family, which is rather easy to grow in our climate—from melons, to cucumber, to squashes. They all grow on vines that can envelope your entire garden and produce more fruit than you know what to do with.
- Flying Saucer, Sunburst, White Pattypan: These three are all pattypans, which have larger seeds and a central cavity, like winter squash—great for stuffing or cutting into wedges and roasting. Smaller is better.
- Zephyr: Smaller specimens are great for chopping, roasting or sautéing. Larger squash have larger seeds, so longer cooking, removing the seeds, or baking into bread is recommended.
- Safari Zucchini: Similar to Zephyr.
- Magda: Better for stewing.
Squash is also one of the three sisters of traditional Native American lore, because the tomato plants would act as trellises for the bean vines and then the squash would grow along the ground, in the shade of the tomato plants.
We’re excited about our burgeoning relationship with Farlow Farm, a small family farm in Archdale, NC, where Russell and Jennifer have converted a former dairy farm into a vegetable farm. We’ve been buying their basil, tomatoes and of course, squash. You can find their produce at the Greensboro Curb Farmers’ Market, as a temporary vendor, at New Garden Nursery’s Thursday Farmers’ Market, and of course, at their farm. (Check out a recent feature on Farlow Farm on FOX8.)
We can’t really think of anything that’s more emblematic of summer than ratatouille—summer squash, tomatoes and eggplant all cooked together—whether you cook it very lightly, or stew it on the stove, in the Provencal manner. It tastes of the earth and that’s what summer squash is. It’s mostly water, and it’s a wonderful vehicle for you to express yourself in the kitchen. You can chop it up into chunks and sauté it quickly, add a little creole sauce and spill it over some rice. You can slice it and grill it with a little salt and pepper and some fruit vinegar, or smother it in cheese or roast it in the oven with some sesame seeds like we do at the restaurant. The opportunities are endless and it’s an easy way as a gardener (or farmers’ market forager) to put food on your table.
We’ve left out the eggplant and rechristened our ratatouille, “Summer Squash Creole.” Try the recipe below or enjoy it at Lucky’s until Aug 20.
Recipe: Summer Squash Creole
- 1 fl oz canola oil
- 1 cup zucchini (large dice)
- 1 cup yellow squash (large dice)
- ¾ cup Creole Sauce
- ¾ cup long grain white rice
- ¼ cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp chopped green onions
Heat oil in saute pan; saute zucchini and yellow squash. When heated through, add sauce. Bring to a boil and then pour over white rice. Garnish with crumbled ricotta and chopped green onions. Makes 1 serving
Recipe: Creole Sauce
- 1/8 pound celery, diced ¼ inch
- 1/8 pound onions, diced ¼ inch
- 1/8 pound green pepper, diced ¼ inch
- 1 tbsp canola oil
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 ½ cup canned crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup canned, chopped in puree tomatoes
- ¾ cup V-8 juice
- 1 tbsp Creole Spice Blend
- salt to taste
Add the oil to a large sauce pot. Heat and add onions, peppers, celery, garlic and Creole Spice Blend. Saute for 5-7 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Makes 1 quart
Recipe: Creole Spice Blend
- 2 ½ tbsp paprika
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp garlic powder
- 3 tsp black pepper
- 3 tsp onion powder
- 3 tsp cayenne powder
- 3 tsp oregano leaves
- 3 tsp thyme leaves
Add all of the ingredients to a large bowl and combine with a whisk until spices are evenly distributed. Store in an air tight container with a lid. Makes ¾ cup
For more recipes, visit: https://www.lucky32.com/recipes.htm
What is your favorite way to enjoy summer squash?