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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Summer is Here and Squash Is On The Vine

By Sherrie Norris

We decided to do gardening a little differently this year. In fact, we went from a huge multi-row spot to transforming an old flower garden into a small vegetable garden and added a few plants to some buckets that were just taking up space. I’m not sure that we expected much, but we are thrilled that all the plants are growing beautifully and the first of summer’s typical produce — squash, zucchinis and cucumbers — are showing up in abundance.

It’s been less work, for sure, and thankfully, we are enjoying our favorite summer treats. Now, if those tomatoes will  just stay healthy!

Following are a few recipes that I’ve collected over the years to use up these hardy veggies while we still can. And the great thing about squash and zucchini, especially,  is that they can be frozen easily for later use, whether shredded, chopped, sliced or even breaded, placed on a pan to quick-freeze and then placed in freezer bags for later. Squash does not have to be blanched or cooked at all before they are frozen. 

Zucchini Fritters

3 cups zucchini, grated

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup grated Cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup Bisquick mix

1 egg, well beaten

Mix together zucchini, cheese, Bisquick and egg. Add onions, salt and pepper. Drop by spoonful into ¼-inch hot cooking oil. Brown well on both sides.

Marinated Squash
(Compliments of my friend, Ann Brown)
5 medium squash or 2 ½ pints sliced
½ cup sliced onions
½ cup green pepper sliced
½ cup chopped celery

Heat the following ingredients until dissolved, then cool and pour over the vegetables::
2 Tbsp. wine vinegar 

¾ cups sugar
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cups cider vinegar
Chill 12 hours.

 Yellow Squash Saute

1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp. butter

½ red bell pepper, chopped

2 small to medium yellow squash, sliced

Salt and pepper

2 Tbsp. chopped parsley 

2 Tbsp. chopped onion, optional

Preheat skillet over medium high heat. Add oil, then butter. When butter melts, add red peppers and squash. Saute 12 to 14 minutes until squash is tender. Add salt, pepper and parsley. Add onion if you like.

Simple Squash Casserole 

2 cups yellow squash, chopped

1 cup grated cheese

2 eggs

½ cup milk

¼ cup melted butter

1 medium onion, chopped

About 14 Ritz crackers

Salt and pepper to taste

Cook onion and squash until tender and drain. Add milk and beaten egg to squash and onion mixture. Mix cheese, butter, and half the crushed Ritz crackers and add to mixture. Add salt and pepper. Pour into buttered casserole dish. Sprinkle remaining crushed Ritz crackers on top. Bake at 400 degrees for 20 to 30 minutes.

Grilled Garden Veggies

2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided

1 small onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed, divided

2 small zucchini, sliced

2 small yellow summer squash, sliced

½ lb. medium mushrooms, quartered

1 large tomato, diced  

¾ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. pepper

Drizzle 1 Tbsp. olive oil over a double thickness of a large piece of heavy-duty foil. Combine the onion, garlic and ½ tsp. rosemary; spoon over foil. 

Top with zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms and tomato; drizzle with the remaining oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and remaining rosemary. Fold foil around vegetables and seal tightly. 

Grill, covered, over medium heat for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape. Yield: 8 servings.