Do you know which are the best types of summer squash and how to cook with them? Summer squash is a type of vegetable that belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family, which also includes other popular vegetables such as pumpkins, cucumbers, and melons.
It is called summer squash because it is harvested during the summer months when it is still young and tender, as opposed to winter squash which is harvested when it is fully matured and has a hard outer skin. Summer squash is a versatile vegetable that can be cooked in many different ways, including grilling, roasting, sautéing, and even frying. In this article, we will discuss the different types of summer squash and provide some tips on how to cook with them.
5 Best Types of Summer Squash and How to Cook With Them
Types of Summer Squash
Zucchini is probably the most well-known type of summer squash. It has a cylindrical shape and dark green skin that is smooth and shiny. Zucchini has a delicate flavor and a soft texture, which makes it a great addition to many different dishes. It can be sliced, diced, or grated and used in salads, stews, casseroles, and pasta dishes.
Yellow squash, also known as summer squash or crookneck squash, has a curved shape and bright yellow skin that is slightly bumpy. It has a milder flavor than zucchini and a firmer texture, which makes it great for grilling or roasting. Yellow squash can also be sliced and used in stir-fries or added to soups and stews.
Pattypan squash, also known as scallop squash or sunburst squash, has a unique shape that looks like a flying saucer. It comes in different colors, including yellow, green, and white, and has a delicate flavor that is similar to zucchini. Pattypan squash can be sliced and grilled or roasted, or it can be stuffed with a variety of fillings, such as cheese, vegetables, or meat.
Cousa squash, also known as Lebanese squash or Middle Eastern squash, has a cylindrical shape and light green skin that is slightly ridged. It has a slightly sweeter flavor than zucchini and a firmer texture, which makes it great for slicing and grilling. Cousa squash can also be used in soups and stews, or it can be stuffed and baked.
Chayote squash, also known as mirliton or vegetable pear, has a pear-like shape and light green skin that is slightly spiky. It has a mild flavor and a slightly crunchy texture, which makes it great for salads or stir-fries. Chayote squash can also be roasted or baked and used in casseroles or soups.
How to Cook with Summer Squash
Grilling is one of the easiest and most flavorful ways to cook summer squash. Simply slice the squash into rounds or lengthwise strips, brush with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill the squash over medium-high heat until it is tender and slightly charred, about 4-5 minutes per side. Grilled squash can be served as a side dish, added to salads, or used as a topping for pizza or pasta.
Roasting is another great way to bring out the natural sweetness of summer squash. Cut the squash into bite-sized pieces, toss with olive oil and your favorite seasonings, and spread out on a baking sheet. Roast the squash in the oven at 400°F for 20-25 minutes, or until it is tender and golden brown. Roasted squash can be served as a side dish or used in salads, pasta dishes, or grain bowls.
Sautéing is a quick and easy way to cook summer squash, and it is especially useful when you need to prepare a meal in a hurry. Cut the squash into thin slices or small cubes, and heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add some oil or butter to the skillet, and then add the squash. Cook the squash for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until it is tender and lightly browned. Sautéed squash can be served as a side dish, added to omelets or frittatas, or used in tacos or burritos.
Read also: How to Cook Delicious Mushrooms Recipe on the Grill?
Frying is not the healthiest way to cook summer squash, but it is certainly one of the most delicious. To fry summer squash, cut it into thin slices, and then dip each slice into a mixture of flour, salt, and pepper. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat, and then add enough oil to cover the bottom of the skillet.
Once the oil is hot, add the squash slices to the skillet, and fry for about 2-3 minutes on each side, or until they are golden brown and crispy. Fried squash can be served as a snack or appetizer, or used as a topping for sandwiches or burgers.
Baking is a great way to cook stuffed summer squash, such as pattypan or Cousa squash. To prepare stuffed squash, cut off the top of the squash, and scoop out the seeds and flesh from the center. Mix together a filling of your choice, such as cooked rice, chopped vegetables, cheese, and herbs, and then spoon the filling into the hollowed-out squash.
Place the stuffed squash in a baking dish, and bake in the oven at 375°F for about 30-40 minutes, or until the squash is tender and the filling is heated through. Baked stuffed squash can be served as a main dish or as a side dish.
In conclusion, summer squash is a versatile and delicious vegetable that can be cooked in many different ways. Whether you prefer grilling, roasting, sautéing, or frying, there is a cooking method that will suit your taste and style.
By experimenting with different types of summer squash and cooking techniques, you can create a wide variety of delicious and healthy dishes that will delight your taste buds and nourish your body. So go ahead and get creative in the kitchen with summer squash – you won’t be disappointed!