You can fry it, bake it, or mix it with cheese, but shredded summer squash mixed with chocolate takes the cake.
The garden that got off to a super-slow start this year is making up for lost time.
Two summer squash plants (Cucurbita pepo), their leaves covered in powdery mildew, are producing more squash now than I could have imagined at the beginning of the season.
Instead of worrying about pollinating them by hand, I’m working hard at picking them while they’re still small, buttery-yellow and tender. Just like puppies, they’re easier to give away while they’re still young and cute.
In addition to sharing them with friends and neighbors, I’ve sliced squash and baked it into delicious casseroles; shredded, mixed it with Parmesan cheese and fresh rosemary and fried into pancakes; tossed with olive oil and grilled; and cut into quarters for crudites.
I’ve also shredded a colander full, steam-blanched and packaged it for freezing.
Yellow squash is naturally low in fat, sodium and cholesterol–before baking or frying–and its loaded with vitamins and minerals.
The best use I’ve found for my abundant crop is this recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake, substituting 3 cups shredded yellow straight-neck squash for 3 cups shredded zucchini. Other squash, such as crook neck or patty pan, could also be used.
The recipe calls for ingredients I already had in the pantry and it was easy to whip up on a Saturday afternoon.
The squash bakes up nicely and makes this a flavorful and extraordinarily moist snack cake. To keep the calorie count down, I didn’t frost it.
I know many gardeners who leave excess squash on their neighbor’s porch, ring the doorbell and run or sneak bags of the veg into a friend’s unlocked car just to get rid of it.
But it’s surprising how happy neighbors can be to receive squash when it’s surrounded with chocolate and packaged like this.
Do you have a favorite squash recipe you’d care to share? Please post it here.