Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Strange (but tasty!) squashes abound...

I have a favorite gardening blog called DirtSunRain. And to paraphrase the author of that site, my blogger pal, Steven, nature is lots of fun when you just let her do her own thing, and then you may reap sometimes surprising results. Last year, I planted all kinds of summer squash, winter squash, and pumpkins. And this year, I got all kinds of volunteers that came up in the latter part of the spring, so I decided to grow them out and see what they might produce. There is one patch that appears to be various colors and types of zucchini, but now I'm not sure if there wasn't some cross-pollination with some yellow crookneck squash as well. Indeed, I thought the squash that I picked for dinner tonight was a Gold Rush zucchini, but the skin was bumpy like crookneck, and furthermore, it had a band of green around the base. So who knows its parentage, but it turned out to be a tasty little mutt!

I wanted to prepare it fairly simply as befits a gorgeous garden-fresh veggie, so I seeded it but left the pretty skin on, chopped it into maybe half-inch(?), bite-sized pieces, and sauteed it in a few tablespoons of olive oil and one tablespoon of butter along with some chopped onion and a few cloves of minced garlic. Once the squash was fairly tender, I seasoned it up with my favorite herbed sea salt blend (called Herbamare), freshly-ground black pepper, a mere splash of balsamic vinegar, and a couple of tablespoons of minced fresh basil (the beautiful purple-colored opal basil as well as some lemon basil). Then I garnished it with a generous handful of shredded parmesan cheese and let it melt on the top a bit before serving. WOW! So easy, and so delicious! This is the glory of summer! And did I mention that we purchased the first local tomatoes from the woman down the road who had her plants in the ground (protected by Wall-o-Waters) by March? But I will save the tomato post(s!) for another day. Tonight, I leave you with a picture of my squash dish. (Don't hurt your head when you try to dive through your monitor to get at it!)

UPDATE: I decided to prepare the other half of the mongrel squash in the same manner as above and take it for a potluck at work today, as it seemed like the sort of thing that would be good hot or even once it cooled to room temperature. It was a gamble as people tend to fear what they do not recognize instantly on a buffet, and after all, it is squash, and some people have vegetable issues. But when I went to pick up my casserole dish after my class let out, I was thrilled to see that they darn near ate every last bite of it! And the lovely gal who organized the affair, Jenny, assured me that it was delicious, and that she doesn't even like squash! ;-) Tee hee.


steven said...

Gee thanks! I just spent the better part of the morning blanching and freezing about twenty pounds of zucchini, crookneck and bush scallop squash. I may have planted too much since I've already got another fifteen pounds in the freezer already.

Certainly there was no room to store the leftover buttermilk ice cream I made from your recipe so I had to eat it all.

Anonymous said...

oh dear god - you ramble on about the simplicity of nature and yet you've adulterated your squash to the point of being unrecognizable! I prefer a recipe that celebrates the flavor of the vegetable - not one that disquises it in a veil of garlic, vinegar and BASIL of all things - not the most delicate herb! I would imagine you're the kind of person who would adulterate rhubarb with strawberries without batting an eyelash! Hmm! So it seems!

JoyBugaloo said...

(GASP, hand to chest)

I've been writing this blog for nearly seven months, and the first time you deign to swing by and post something, you spew such vile, hate speech about my delicious squash dish?? SHAME BE ON YOU! And please note, I said I preferred to prepare it "fairly simply" not plainly or boringly! Hmph!

And yes, now that you mention it, I am packing the car right now with the wares that I hope to sell at the farmers' market tomorrow morning. Among my goodies are strawberry-rhubarb jam and a couple of strawberry-rhubarb crumb pies! (ppppfffftttthhhhhttt!)