There’s an old joke that starts out in some small-ish town in a farming part of the country and goes on to ask, “Do you know the only time the people around here lock their car doors?”
“At church on Sunday, during squash season! They’re afraid sombody will leave bags of zuchini in their cars!!!”
If you’re a gardener, or grew up in a family of gardeners, you probably know that both green zuchini and their yellow cousins, often called summer or crookneck squash, tend to be enthusiastic producers, to say the least!
My garden is a bit behind, as usual. We don’t have a homegrown hoard of squash taking over the front yard, yet. A friend of mine, however, does. And she gave me some!
So, what to do with lovely summer squash, a house guest who’s a bit if-fy on such veg, and a lot to get done other than dinner???
Here’s the answer from last night. Feel free to adapt to your taste and what’s on hand! This is what I used for 2 large servings with a smidge of leftover.
You’ll need the following, all as clean, local, sustainable and or organic as possible:
about 3 small yellow or green summer squash
3-4 green onions
about 3 large cloves garlic
a cup or two of organic mushrooms (I like the little Bunapis!)
good olive oil, sea salt and freshly ground pepper (black or pink)
flat leaf Italian parsley, basil and mint, preferably all from the garden!
Chop white and green parts of green onions finely and add to skillet (preferably cast iron) over med. heat with a couple Tbsp. olive oil. (Depending on what elese you’re serving, bacon grease could be good, too. Just get good, local, artisinal bacon!) Stir frequently, browning slightly but not burning.
Add washed and sliced squash pieces, stirring well to coat with olive oil and continue to saute, stirring as needed to gently brown both sides.
When squash is browning nicely, add mushrooms, cleaned and chopped as necessary. Season with sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste. (A bit of crushed red pepper wouldn’t hurt!) Toss and continue to saute, adding more olive oil if the pan gets dry. This whole thing should take about 20 minutes, depending on the size of your veg and how browned you’d like them.
(Should you happen to have another pan sitting around with the drippings of something like a lovely ribeye steak, or even a roasted chicken, you might be serving with the veg, add those drippings and juices right into the pan with the squash.)
Just before serving, add chopped parsley leaves and toss, leaving on heat a minute or so. Remove from heat and add chopped basil and mint. Adjust seasoning as desired. (Don’t be too tempted to skip the parsley. It’s loaded with vitamins and minerals and other good, herb-y things. The basil and mint are heaven!)
Serve. Breathe in the gorgeous aroma of all those herbs and enjoy!
Obviously this can be a vegan dish. Or not. I ended up with both leftover squash and a bit of that ribeye. Tonight they’ll go into a big salad that only needs a little chopping and some tossing.
Just in case you locked your car doors, or don’t have a gardening friend, local farmers’ markets will have lots. Stop by and make a new friend!
Prayers and optimism of any sort appreciated for our garden!