This is high squash season, according to my friend Amanda Provencher from King Hill Farm in Penobscot. My weekly veggie CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) box was filled with salad mix, chard, scallions, onions, green peppers, celery, red cabbage, cucumbers, green beans, broccoli, fennel, tomatoes, summer squash and zucchini. Between that and our own grown zucchini, my refrigerator is packed with dark green, light green, striped and yellow variations of summer squash or cucurbita pepo.
Summer squash and zucchini do tend to be quite prolific, and I love to try new dishes utilizing this tender vegetable. In our CSA newsletter, Amanda explained that Squash Pillows was one of her most popular recipes. I can taste why. Aptly named, these light, puffy bites of fresh herbs and cheese were delicious hot from the oven, packed in the lunch box and eaten at room temperature, and heated again the next morning for breakfast.
The key to this recipe is preparing the squash. Wash it carefully, but no need to peel. Grate the squash coarsely into a large colander, toss with salt, and allow to drain. After a few minutes, remove by handfuls, squeezing out the excess water as you go. Zucchini and summer squash prepped this way stay intact when cooked, and don’t become a soft, stewy and gloppy affair.
Now that I’ve mastered the art of zucchini prepping, I’m seeking some additional recipes to test. Baked eggs in zucchini with Hollandaise sauce, stuffed squash boats, roasted zucchini, grilled summer squash, tamales with zucchini and cilantro filling, so much squash and so little time!
- 3 cups grated zucchini and / or summer squash about 1 pound
- 2 teaspoons Sea salt
- 1½ cups all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ cup onion diced, about one onion
- 2 teaspoons finely chopped herbs (basil dill, thyme) or more to taste
- 2 cups grated cheese cheddar works well
- ½ cup olive oil
- 3 eggs
- Combine the zucchini / squash and the salt in a colander and toss to mix. Set aside and drain for about 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 10 inch round or 7 x 11 baking dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the baking powder and flour. Add the chopped onion, herbs, fresh pepper and grated cheese. Squeeze the excess water from the zucchini / squash and add to the mixture, combining well. Whisk together the eggs and olive oil and add to the squash. Spread evenly in the baking dish.
- Bake for about 35 minutes, until golden. Serve at room temperature. Makes 8 servings.