By Emily Armstrong
Here we are in the busiest, hottest part of the summer, when the garden is in its full glory. Lucky gardeners will find themselves with armfuls of juicy tomatoes, bunches of basil, baskets of beans, and more summer squash then you might know what to do with. This August we celebrate summer squash in all of its abundance.
This summer, our high school apprentices in the Farm Project have helped cafeteria staff chop and freeze squash harvested through the Island Grown Gleaning program, a great way to make use of extra summer squash. You can then pull out the squash in the winter and add it to stews and sauces for a colorful reminder of summer. You can also peel squash into ribbons, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and eat in place of noodles. Easiest of all is slicing it thin, adding some olive oil, and grilling with some fish for a simple dinner.
If you still have squash left after all of that, consider making this Summer Squash Egg and Cheese Bake. It’s a great dish to make on a cool night, and eat through the week for lunches.
Summer Squash Egg and Cheese Bake
Recipe provided by Robin Forte.
2 c. summer squash cut into ½-inch cubes
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. butter
½ cup onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
¾ cup cheddar or Swiss cheese, grated
¼ cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 Tbsp. parsley, chopped
2 Tbsp. basil, chopped
1 medium-size tomato, chopped
Preheat oven to 350℉. Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté onions until golden. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the summer squash cubes, cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often. Cool slightly.
In another bowl combine the eggs, cheeses, and herbs. Add the diced tomato, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the cooled summer squash, onion, and garlic mixture to the egg mixture. Pour into a buttered baking dish, and bake in oven until set, about 25 to 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
Emily Armstrong is the preschool coordinator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school nonprofit. For more information, visit islandgrownschools.org.