Friday, July 15, 2011

Summer Squash

We're entering Week Five of our CSA, and I have to admit that we're already experiencing a bit of summer squash fatigue. We've enjoyed romanesco zucchini, pattypan squash, traditional zucchini, yellow squash, cousa and yellow zucchini in a variety of ways: roasted, stuffed and sauteed, in lasagne, pasta sauces, casseroles, breakfast scrambles, and tacos. The freezer is filling up nicely, bringing me closer to my goal of enjoying several meals a week from the summer growing season throughout the winter.

During the early flush of zucchini love, I made zucchini tacos. Nothing could be simpler. For about four servings, I sauteed a large onion in some olive oil, then added six smallish zucchini, seeded and diced, along with salt, pepper, a little garlic and chile powder. I made a quick pico de gallo with the first tomatoes from the farm, and a jalapeno picked fresh from our front lawn, where jalapenos and cherry peppers grow among the wildflowers. I finished the dish with warm corn tortillas and some broccoli slaw, along with a squeeze of fresh lime and a few drops of hot sauce. Ten minutes of work, and lunch was complete.

I'll be on my way to the farm shortly, and I know more summer squash await. I reminded my husband last night that what seems tiresome to us right now will surely be appreciated on a cold December night, so this week I'll be freezing a casserole of onions, tomatoes, fresh herbs and summer squash topped with a light bechamel, and also plan to serve this simple salad of Lebanese zucchini (cousa) with hot peppers.

Roasted Cousa with Pepper Salad

Cousa is a Lebanese summer squash similar to zucchini. This fast and easy dish is a twist on a traditional Lebanese recipe, replacing fried squash with warm, roasted squash, topped with a zingy salad of peppers and scallions.

6 medium cousa, trimmed and sliced on the diagonal ½” thick
1 red bell pepper, seeded and julienne sliced
1 yellow bell pepper, seeded and julienne sliced
1 hot cherry pepper, seeded and julienne sliced OPTIONAL
½ bunch (about 4 oz.) fresh scallions, white and green parts, sliced on the diagonal
½ cup loosely packed, torn mint leaves
Juice of 1 lemon
Extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 400°. Toss sliced cousa in a large bowl with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and freshly ground pepper. Place squash on rimmed baking sheets, and roast for 10-15 minutes, until squash is lightly colored but still firm. Arrange squash on a serving platter.

Meanwhile, toss peppers, scallions and mint with lemon juice and a tablespoon of olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top warm roasted cousa with pepper salad. Serve immediately.

Serves four to six

1 comment:

June said...

I love zucchini/squash! When I was growing up, not so much. My grandparents TRIED every recipe in their arsenal to get to eat and enjoy it. I only liked sweet zucchini bread which was more like cake!

I have a great veg. recipe for Zucchini soup a friend just shared with me. Easy and perfect for freezing for the fall.

chop and sautee 1 med onion and 2 cloves of garlic. add 6 C veg broth, 1 cubed potato and 1 sprig of fresh rosemary
Boil 1 min.
Add in 4 thinly sliced zukes salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer 15 min.
Use an immersion blender to puree.

~June's Ma, KellyAnn