Squash Overload

 There are many pleasures to having and working a garden just as there are many downsides. It’s a lot of work for the return and when the return is abundant, that’s a problem too.
Take Summer yellow squash. In fact, take all of it that you want. This gourd can seem not so much prolific as bent on world domination. Just one plant can yield oppressive amounts of food. Before you know it you have a behemoth lurking in the elephant-ear leaves and you will be advised by well-meaning friends to stuff it. Well, just tell them to do the same with their advise. Stuffed squash is a joke. You can remove all the squash flesh you want, you put together the most delicious filling and you can bake it ‘til global warming reverses and you’ll still end up with an under-cooked, bland refugee from an old folks’ home. It’s a kind of reverse alchemy.
I still don’t have a complete strategy but I’ve come up with a couple of simple solutions to the squash problem. One thing I did was use squash in a warm salad. You’ll need about a pound of squash.

Warm Squash Salad

1 lb of yellow squash cut into ¼” cubes
About 6 oz of chopped onion
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of smoked paprika
cayenne to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
Can of cannellini or white beans, drained.

Chop and sauté the onion in the olive oil. When it’s starting to get tender (after a couple of minutes) add the squash and sauté for about another ten minutes. Add the smoked paprika and the cayenne and cook for another minute. Then add the cannellini and warm through. Salt and pepper to taste.
You may have to go to a specialty store for the smoked paprika but you’ll be glad to have it in your kitchen. I used a Spanish smoked/spicy paprika and so didn’t need the cayenne.

I also made a soup using about two pounds of squash.

Squash Soup

2 lbs squash coarsely chopped
1 onion coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon ground coriander
2 teaspoons curry powder
4-6 cups chicken stock
½ cup red lentils, washed (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Cream (optional)

Sauté the onion until tender. Add the squash and the cumin, coriander and curry powder. Mix well and heat through until the spices ‘loosen up’, about 30 seconds.
Add the chicken stock and if you’re using them, the red lentils. Bring to a boil and turn heat down to a simmer. Leave it simmering about a half hour. Put in a blender in batches or use one of those handy-dandy blender wands and blend to soup until it’s smooth. At this point you could add some cream to make it more special.

I still have a lot of work to do to keep this problem under control. The eggplant are starting to propagate and there’s already a myriad cherry tomatoes asking for attention.
Time to consult Dennis Cotter or Peter Berley or Yotam Ottolenghi …

1 comment

  • Janice


    Bless you for addressing squash stress.

    Bless you for addressing squash stress.

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