A common joke among farmers is: “Don’t leave your car unlocked in August. Someone might fill it with zucchini.” When summer squash is in season, it’s really in season. You won’t be able to get away from it, and you might find yourself looking for ways to include summer squash in recipes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner just to get rid of it. Luckily there are so many creative uses, you can eat squash all summer long without getting bored.
The four types of summer squash you’re most likely to find on Martha’s Vineyard are zucchini, yellow squash, crookneck, and patty pan. It can be tempting to buy the largest, fattest squash you can find, but these are often seedier and less flavorful than small ones. My new favorite way to prepare zucchini is to use it as an alternative to pasta. Use a knife or mandolin to cut it into thin spaghetti-like strips, then boil for five minutes and mix with pesto or a little butter and parmesan. (If it’s too hot to even think about turning your stove on, you can eat it raw, too). You can also make delicious zucchini bread or muffins, or use cut up squash in kabobs along with your favorite meat and fish.
Summer Squash Noodles
Recipe by Robin Forte
1 lb. Summer squash or zucchini
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs of your choice
2 tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
Holding the squash lengthwise, cut strips or “noodles” with the vegetable peeler, toss with salt and pepper, herbs, and olive oil.
Ava Castro is the preschool coordinator for Island Grown Schools, the Vineyard’s farm-to-school program.