Monday, April 12

Summer Squash

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Squashes come in many sizes and colors. Each variety of the nutritious produce offers a wide variety of flavors and textures.

Good, gosh, summer squash! We’re going to let you in on a little secret: Squash is squash! We’re not saying they don’t have slightly different flavors, but in this season of squash abundance, try using those of different colors and shapes in your recipes. Here are some to get you started:

Stuffed Pattypan Squash

Yield: 3 servings
  • 3 pattypan squash, blossom ends trimmed to sit flat
  • 4 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 1 large garlic clove, peeled and minced
  • ¾ cup crumbled leftover cornbread or soft breadcrumbs
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon garlic salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper 1 tablespoon olive oil
  1. Place an inch of water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the squash and cover. Cook 1 minute.
  2. Meanwhile, lightly coat the bottom of a baking dish large enough to hold the squash with cooking spray and set aside. In a mixing bowl, stir together the bacon, onions, garlic, cornbread or breadcrumbs, Parmesan, garlic salt, pepper, paprika and cayenne. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Drain the squash and, when cool enough to handle, slice off the stem ends for stuffing. Using a spoon, carefully scoop out the insides into a colander. Discard the seeds if desired and press the remaining squash bits with the back of a spoon to remove excess moisture. Add to the bacon mixture, stirring well.
  4. Place the squash with the stem end up in the prepared baking dish. Stuff each center evenly with the bacon mixture. Drizzle the tops with olive oil, cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving warm.

Oven-Roasted Yellow Squash

Yield: 2 servings
  • 3 medium yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground red pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a jellyroll pan. Place the squash in a single layer on the pan. Sprinkle evenly with the oil and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the paprika, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Evenly sprinkle over the squash. Roast 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm.

Summer Squash Pickles

Yield: 3 pints
  • 2 pounds yellow squash, peeled and cut into thin slices
  • 2 small white onions, peeled and quartered
  • ¼ cup salt
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon celery salt
  • 2 teaspoons turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  1. Place the squash and onions in a large bowl. Sprinkle with the salt and cover with cold water, stirring to blend. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, then drain.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the sugar, celery salt, turmeric, mustard seeds and vinegar to a boil. Pour over the squash and onions. Cover and let stand at room temperature 2 hours.
  3. Transfer the squash mixture to a large saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Boil 5 minutes. Pack the squash mixture into hot, sterilized canning jars. Fill with the boiling liquid, leaving ½-inch headspace. Remove the air bubbles, wipe the rims and adjust the lids. Process 15 minutes in a boiling water bath. Cool on a wire rack away from drafts. Store at room temperature.

Cheesy Squash Casserole

Yield: 8 servings
  • 3 pounds yellow squash, cut into ¼-inch slices
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and chopped
  • 4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • 16 saltine crackers, divided
  • 1½ cups shredded sharp Cheddar cheese, divided
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  1. Bring water to a boil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the squash, onions and 3½ teaspoons of the salt. Stir often and cook 25 minutes.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 11-by-7-inch baking dish and set aside. Crush 10 crackers and set aside.
  3. Drain and coarsely mash the squash mixture with a fork. Add the crushed crackers, ½ cup of the cheese, mayonnaise, egg, butter, remaining salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.
  4. Crush the remaining crackers and sprinkle evenly over the squash. Top with the remaining cheese. Bake uncovered 30 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the squash is bubbly. Cool on a wire rack 5 minutes before serving.

Squash the Goat Pizza

Yield: 4 servings
  • Prepared pizza crust
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 3 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • ¼ teaspoon onion or seasoned salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 ounces plain goat cheese, crumbled and softened
  • 1 small zucchini, trimmed
  • 1 small yellow squash, trimmed
  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Place pizza dough on an oiled baking sheet and brush with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper and dot with goat cheese.
  2. Using a vegetable peeler, peel wide, thin strips of the zucchini and squash, and place them on the pizza. Just cover the top and avoid putting too much on the pizza or the crust can become soggy. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until the cheese is melted. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing and serving warm.

Squash Lasagna

Yield: 6-8 servings
  • 1 small to medium zucchini, trimmed and sliced ⅛ inch thick
  • 1 small to medium yellow squash, trimmed and sliced ⅛ inch thick
  • 2 cups seasoned croutons
  • 1 medium sweet onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 small green bell pepper, seeded and sliced in thin strips
  • 2 medium tomatoes, peeled and sliced in ¼-inch-thick slices
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dry mustard
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 6 bacon slices, cooked and crumbled in large pieces
  • 6 ounces thinly sliced Swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan cheese
  1. Place the zucchini and squash in a steamer basket or the top of a double boiler and set aside. Bring an inch of water to a boil in the bottom of the saucepan over high heat. Place the basket or double boiler top over the boiling water and cover. Reduce the heat to low and steam 3 minutes. Carefully remove the basket from the boiler and rinse the squash under cold water. Drain WELL and place on paper towels to remove excess moisture.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 11-by-7-inch baking dish and place the croutons evenly on the bottom in a single layer. Place in this order on top of the croutons: zucchini/squash, onions, bell peppers and tomatoes. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, basil, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over the tomato layer and top with the bacon, then the Swiss cheese. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and increase the temperature to 375 degrees. Evenly top with the Parmesan and bake an additional 30 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

Summer Squash Gratin

Yield: 6 servings
  • 4 zucchini or yellow squash, trimmed and sliced
  • ½ teaspoon onion salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 thick French bread slices, torn in pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 2 teaspoons fresh chopped oregano
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a 2-quart baking dish and arrange the squash slices in the dish. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and set aside. Place the bread, garlic, oregano, rosemary, parsley and mustard in the bowl of a food processor and process until fine. Add the oil slowly through the feed tube and process until smooth. Spread over the squash slices and bake 30 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Ask Chef Tammy

Dear Tammy,

I have berbere seasoning that was given to me by a friend. I am not sure how to use it and need help. I am assuming I can use it as a dry rub on meat.

— Mary Catherine

Dear Mary Catherine,

Berbere is an Ethiopian spice blend that is very versatile. You most certainly can use it as a dry rub on meat, but don’t stop there. I like to add it to sour cream or yogurt for a vegetable dip. It is superb when sprinkled on vegetables such as cauliflower or broccoli before oven-roasting. I once had it on grilled pineapple, and it was surprisingly good. Add it to ordinary potatoes, pasta or even rice!

Dear Tammy,

I have a recipe for bread that says to brush the top with an egg wash but doesn’t give a recipe. Is it really necessary? Can you help?
— Rick

Dear Rick,

The purpose of brushing an egg wash onto breads or pastry dough before it goes into the oven is twofold. One is to enhance the color as it bakes, and two is to give it a shiny, nearly glossy finish.

For folded filled pastries, it helps keep the crust together. An egg wash can be a whisked-together mixture of an egg plus 1 teaspoon of milk or water. If you have leftover egg yolks (2) or an egg white, either of those can be mixed with the liquid with the same results.

Email your cooking questions to Tammy Algood: You might be featured in the next issue of The Tennessee Magazine!


About Author

Tammy Algood develops for The Tennessee Magazine recipes that feature farm-fresh Tennessee food. Those fresh, local ingredients will always add cleaner, more flavorful foods to your table. We recommend visiting local farms and farmers markets to find the freshest seasonal produce. For more information about our recipes, contact Algood at

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