Ingredient of the Month: Summer Squash

summer squash

Squish. Squash. That yellow stuff that is grown before pumpkin season.

Whatever you call it, you should be calling it delicious.

I feel like summer squash often gets overlooked. Like its buddy okra, it has the tendency to be overcooked and slimy. Also, because it’s so abundant in the summer, it’s possible to get sick of it.

I attempted to grow squash in my garden this year, and I have had beautiful squash blossoms and flowers and not much else but a bunch of evil ants. That’s how growing just goes sometimes.

squash blossom

But, thankfully I’ve been able to get my fill of summer squash from my local farm stand.

The really good news is that squash is cheap, versatile and good for you! It’s also a Southern staple, so you’ve got to get your fill of it.

Tell me more:

While there are many varieties of summer squash (green zucchini, yellow zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan squash), we’ll be focusing on the classic yellow squash today. It is full of antioxidants and comes in a variety of shapes (straight neck and crook neck) but is typically about half a foot long with a slimmer neck and fatter bottom. Pick squash that are free of blemishes or cuts and feel firm (not soft at all).

Where do I buy it:

If you’re like me and have had trouble growing it, you can buy as much squash as you please at your farm stand, farmers market or local grocery store. Summer is its peak season!

Where do I store it:

I like to store my summer squash right on my counter with my other summer produce, but you can also keep it in your crisper drawer in the refrigerator for a few days.

summer squash

How do I use it:

Squash is such an easy ingredient to throw into other recipes to add some color, texture and health. Just cut off the tips and get to slicing.

Then, throw it on the grill, saute it in butter as a side dish, throw it in a soup…the squash possibilities are endless!

One of my favorite nostalgic ways to fix yellow squash is how my mom makes it, which we like to call “squish.” In a medium saucepan, add some chopped white or red onion and a few sliced summer squash with salt, pepper and a little water. Cook down squash until done and drain. Then, add in a dollop of sour cream, some salt, a little sugar and a little butter. This makes for a savory/sweet treat.

Here are more ways to use your summer squash: