Don’t leave your car unlocked in July — 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 mostly 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.
Try shredding summer squash with a cheese grater, then mixing it with egg, flour, and cheese to make zucchini fritters. Steamed squash can be blended with pasta sauce to sneakily add more vegetables into your family’s diet. My favorite way to prepare zucchini is to use it as an alternative to pasta — use a knife or vegetable peeler 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.
Try this month’s featured recipe, Raw and Roasted Squash Salad:
Raw and Roasted Squash Salad
Recipe by Austin Racine and Maura Martin of Mo’s Lunch.
For the salad
4-5 medium-large mixed summer squash and zucchini
1⁄4 cup olive oil
1⁄2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Small handful fresh mint leaves
Salt and pepper
For the dressing
1 cup packed fresh basil
1 cup neutral oil or olive oil
1⁄4 cup lemon juice
1⁄4 cup white wine or apple cider vinegar
2 cloves garlic
Salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. dijon mustard
Combine garlic, mustard, lemon juice, and vinegar in a blender. With blender running, drizzle in oil. Lastly add basil, then combine and season with salt and pepper. Alternately, mince basil and garlic and whisk all ingredients together until well incorporated.
To make the salad
Preheat oven to 475°F. Reserve one squash or zucchini and then chop the rest into roughly 2 in. chunks. Spread out on a large sheet tray (or two to give the squash room to brown), drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and then roast in prepared oven for 12 minutes or until browned and soft.
Next cut the single reserved squash in half and thinly slice (either by hand with a sharp knife, or on a mandolin), lengthwise into very thin strips. You want the cuts as thin as you can get them, like a ribbon. Set aside.
When roasted squash comes out of the oven, let it cool 5 minutes and then transfer into a large bowl. Pour 1⁄2 to 3⁄4 cup basil dressing over it and let marinate at least 5 minutes. You will want excess dressing at the bottom of the bowl.
After the roasted squash has marinated for a bit, mix in the shaved raw squash, tossing around to have a nice tangle of both the raw and roasted squash and the dressing. Transfer to serving bowls, and top with crumbled feta and a few fresh mint leaves.