Sunday, October 04, 2009

The Year of Yellow Squash (Continues)

Are you sick of posts related to summer squash? Well, imagine how sick I am of having to think of new things to do with it! For every one squash I use up, three more appear in its place! I thought I would make a significant dent in my supply last weekend when I put up a half dozen pints of my famous zucchini relish (now summer squash relish), but nooooooo! Given the weather of late, it can't be much longer that my garden keeps offering up its plentiful yellow bounty. But until we reach the end, I still have a seemingly endless supply of squashes eyeballin' me on the counter.

So as I often do, I turned to the wise advice of posters from GardenWeb's Harvest Forum and a thread called "101 Things to Make with Zucchini or Summer Squash." Some nice person posted a recipe for something that sounded savory and hearty called "Zucchini and Sausage Stew." I whipped up a batch earlier this afternoon and let it bubble away in the crock pot all day, making the house smell delicious. Most people would serve it over some kind of pasta (tortellini would be especially good!), but I went with rice because, well, I LOVE rice, and serving it over rice also makes it gluten-free (are you reading this, Jen/Spike?). And with all those veggies in there, it's pretty darn healthful, too! Most importantly, it's tasty stuff--very warm and filling--and it will provide lunches for me (and perhaps my work colleagues!) all week.

*Follow-Up: Um....did I say ALL WEEK? I brought a crock pot full of the leftovers to school today (10/5), and it's almost empty! LOL! Oh well...I'm glad my co-workers enjoyed it. (I'll was better the next day.)

Summer Squash and Sausage Stew
(Source: adapted from
GardenWeb's Harvest Forum)

1 pound ground sausage (I used 1 1/2 lbs. garlic Italian links)*
2 cups celery, 1/2-inch pieces (I finely chopped mine)
1 cup onion, chopped
2 green peppers, 1/2-inch pieces (I chopped a variety of chiles*)
2 - 28 oz. cans chopped tomatoes (I used one quart of home-canned and 2 small cans of fire-roasted)
2 lbs. zucchini or yellow squash, 1/2- inch pieces (you may also slice it--I shredded mine)
2 teaspoons salt (or to taste)
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon granulated garlic (or 2 t. if not using garlic sausage like I did)
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, optional

shredded parmesan or Italian cheese blend to garnish

Brown sausage, drain. Add celery, onion, and peppers and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour mixture into a preheated slow cooker (set to high), then add the tomatoes, squash, and seasonings. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for 3-4 hours on high, or 6-8 hours on low. Taste to correct seasonings. Serve over pasta, tortellini, or rice. Garnish with shredded parmesan/Italian blend cheese.

*I wanted to use the hot peppers that I grew in my garden, so I used a mild Italian sausage. But if you use sweet peppers, you might wish to use hot Italian sausage.

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