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Adlen Robinson: Summer squash is at its peak
squash stock
Photo by helena munoz on Unsplash

It is that time of year when summer squash is at its peak. I love yellow squash and zucchini so much. Of course, there are lots of ways to prepare squash — these just happen to be some of my favorite ways. Enjoy and happy summer!

Squash Casserole

You don’t need a can of “cream of” soup to make squash casserole. This version uses cheddar cheese and a little Parmesan. Feel free to experiment with your favorite cheeses — Gruyere or swiss are good, or you can use pepper jack to make it a bit more on the spicy side

  • 3 tablespoons butter, divided

  • 4 yellow squash, sliced

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated

  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

  • 1/4 cup sour cream

  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise

  • 1 cup crackers, crushed

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash, onion, bell pepper, salt and pepper, and cook until vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. In a bowl, whisk together eggs, cheddar cheese, Parmesan cheese, sour cream, and mayonnaise. When the squash mixture has cooled, combine with the egg mixture. Pour into a casserole dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. Top with crushed crackers. Melt the remaining 1 tablespoon butter and pour over the crackers. Bake for 30 minutes.


Zucchini Fritters

Zucchini fritters are a great way to “sneak in” more vegetables to your menu. They are crunchy and satisfying. You can use other vegetables as well — grated carrots are a great addition. The secret to making perfect zucchini fritters is making sure as much water is out of the grated zucchini as possible. Use a clean kitchen towel to ring out as much liquid as possible — I promise this takes a little time but is so worth your effort.

  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini, grated

  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

  • 1/4 cup flour

  • 1/4 cup Parmesan, finely grated

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 egg, lightly beaten

  • Pinch of salt and pepper

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Place grated zucchini in a colander in the sink. Sprinkle with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, tossing to combine. Let sit for 10 minutes. Pour grated zucchini into a clean kitchen towel and twist towel, and squeeze zucchini to remove as much liquid as possible. In a bowl, combine squeezed zucchini with flour, Parmesan, garlic, egg, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Drop 2 tablespoons of zucchini mixture and flatten gently. Cook 2 minutes and then flip and cook another minute or two until golden brown.  

 

Baked Zucchini Chips

  • 2 zucchini, sliced into rounds
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ounce Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1/3 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • Pinch of salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Place zucchini rounds in a bowl and toss with olive oil. Add Parmesan cheese, panko bread crumbs, basil, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Spread the zucchini rounds out on the parchment paper. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes until golden brown.

 

Zucchini Bread

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a bowl, whisk together olive oil, zucchini, sugar, eggs and vanilla. In another bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Add the wet ingredients to the dry, stirring to combine. Pour into loaf pan and bake 50 minutes to 1 hour. 

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