Unlike their winter variety counterparts, summer squash are harvested before the skin thickens, while the squash are still immature and tender. Every summer we have several varieties of zucchini, yellow crookneck, and patty pan squash in our produce boxes.
Summer squash are members of the Cucrbitaceae family and are related to both cucumbers and melons. Squashes were first cultivated in the Americas. They contain high levels of vitamin C, B vitamins, manganese, and potassium.
Summer squash can mix and match with a huge amount of recipes in the kitchen; if you can think it up, there’s probably a way to do it with summer squash. They can be grilled, steamed, boiled, sautéed, fried, cut in half then hollowed and stuffed, eaten raw with dip or in a salad, in soups or stews, used in a stir-fry, or used in baked goods.
They mix well with other summer veggies like tomatoes, onions, and okra. Spices that pair well include marjoram, cumin seeds, parsley, dill, rosemary, and savory.
The seeds of summer squash are completely edible, though some people might prefer to scoop them out with a melon baller and discard; this will affect the texture and taste of sautéed summer squash by making it less watery and more intense, so if you’re ready for a change, give it a try.
Grate zucchini coarsely for use in zucchini bread, and even yellow squash can be grated and used in muffins or cake bars.
Store your summer squash in an airtight container in the refrigerator, unwashed, for about ten days. Wash them right before use.
Blanch slices of summer squash to freeze for later use, it will not be as crisp when thawed but will still be nutritionally valuable.