What's Fresh

Tuna is back for the next two weeks.  This weekend, October 11th fresh Pumpkins will be available through the Pumplin Project-island children selling pumpkins to raise money for Helpline.  Now's the time to take home fresh vegetables to put up for the winter. Bring your shopping bags and stock up!


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Edible Island: Summer squash with panache
By Carolyn Goodwin

I’m a sucker for summer squash. It tempts me with its glossy shell of verdant green or lemon drop yellow, and so many interesting shapes, from the flat scalloped pattypans to the quirky crooknecks. And it’s so darn affordable I can bring home bagfuls of it for almost nothing. But then what? By itself, summer squash is a bit short on flavor. And if cooked too much, it takes on a decidedly squishy texture. Luckily, the internet offers a supply of creative recipes as bounteous as the squash themselves.

The term summer squash refers to any squash with an edible skin. This includes zucchini and yellow crookneck squash, as well as pattypan squash, globe squash, scallopini and chayote, and a host of other varieties. I like the yellow crooknecks, the more crooked the better. They tend to hold their texture well. Another favorite is the rather unattractive Costata Romanesco, which looks like a rough-skinned zucchini with stripes. Farmhouse Organics and Leapfrog Farm offer these.

So you’ve made your selection, and now you’re awash in squash. The simplest treatment is to pan fry or grill thickish lengthwise slices, after sprinkling them with oil and seasoning. Use one of the many new flavored salts from T&C -- the Volterra Fennel & Salt is great for this. Cook the slices hot and quick, and don’t cover the pan (you don’t want steamed squash). The goal is to brown the outside, while leaving the inside al dente.

You can use grilled squash to make a tasty salad with some of Butler Green’s tomatoes and Leapfrog Farm’s arugula, as chef David Reardon of the Food Network does here.

Of course ,the best way to ensure that you don’t overcook it is not to cook it at all. Elise Bauer of the family-friendly Simply Recipes blog, offers an easy, tasty recipe for Summer Squash Salad where she uses raw summer squash, combined with mint, lemon and pine nuts for taste and crunch. Highly flavored cheeses are another great way to boost the appeal of summer squash, as in this Squash and Feta Salad from Texas chef Ken Rubin.

Looking for a way to disguise your squash in a kid-friendly way? A couple of illustrious chefs took on that challenge recently for the Cookie website with delicious results. Charlie Palmer came up with Summer Squash Sloppy Joes that combine diced squash with ground turkey or beef and piles the seasoned mixture on hamburger buns. Your finicky family will never know. Or you can bake your squash into crispy, breaded “Zuke Fries.”

Make a great side dish that does double duty as a starch and a veggie with this Herbed Summer Squash and Potato Torte. And thanks to YouTube you can watch as someone prepares pattypan squash baked, stuffed with goat cheese topped with Romesco sauce. Port Madison Farm’s goat cheese would be great in this dish.

Finally, one of zucchini’s most time-honored destinations is into a flavorful mix of baked veggies called ratatouille, which is currently enjoying its moment of fame as the title of the hit new movie. Now you too can make Remy’s Ratatouille with a recipe created by none other than French Laundry chef Thomas Keller. Tell your kids that it’s just like Remy would make it, and maybe you’ll make them into summer squash fans too.

© 2008 Bainbridge Farmers Market