Seasonal Eating: Spotlight on Summer Squash

 

Summer squash season is here, and so we’ve put together some handy ideas on what to look out for, as well as creative ways to use your summer squash. 


Most of us are very familiar with seeing green zucchini and yellow pattypan squash on the shelves, yet the squash family is so much larger. 


Come summer, the varieties available are so vast - with many different shapes, sizes, and colours, including: green zucchini, yellow zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan squash, cousa squash, and many more. 


Fun Fact: 


The summer squash originates from Central America and Mexico. 

Scientists have found seeds of summer squash preserved in Mexican caves, over 10,000 years old!



Squash those nutrients into your day:

Summer squash are a great source of:


  • fibre, and
  • important vitamins, including: 
    • Vitamin A, 
    • Vitamin B1 (thiamine), 
    • Vitamin B2 (riboflavin), 
    • Vitamin B3 (niacin), 
    • Vitamin B6, 
    • Vitamin B9 (folate/folic acid), 
    • Vitamin C, 
    • Vitamin K, and
  • minerals, including: 
    • Calcium, 
    • Copper, 
    • Iron, 
    • Magnesium, 
    • Manganese, 
    • Potassium.




Play squash in the kitchen:


Unlike winter varieties, summer squash tend to have thinner, softer skin, making them more versatile to use in meals as they can be eaten raw.


They can be used to make: 


  • Squash pasta/ noodles (using a vegetable peeler or spiraliser),
  • Stuffed squash (a great vegetarian alternative to the Christmas roast meats),
  • Salads (raw or cooked).
  • Roast vegetables,
  • Skewers for the summer barbeque,
  • Zucchini bread,
  • Pizza bases,
  • Fritters,
  • And more...


Don’t squish your squash:


To pick a good squash, look for smooth, glossy skin that feel heavy for their size.

Avoid those that feel spongey or very soft. 


Keep them fresh by storing them in a vegetable bag in the crisper, and try to eat them within a week to get the most of their flavour and freshness


 

Recipe Inspiration:


‘Roasted Summer Squash with Lemon, Mint and Feta’ from Kayln's Kitchen.

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 small yellow summer squash or zucchini, about 8 inches long
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice (see notes)
  • 1/2 cup very finely chopped mint, or more (measure after chopping)
  • salt to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1 cup crumbled Feta cheese (more or less to taste)
  • fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  •  

     

    INSTRUCTIONS

  • Preheat oven to 475F/245C, and put oven rack as high as it will go. Cover a baking sheet with some oil.
  • Wash squash and cut off stem and flower ends.
  • Cut each squash into quarters lengthwise, then cut into pieces about 5cm long.
  • Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mint and salt ; put mixture into a bowl and toss squash with the mixture.
  • Arrange squash on a roasting pan, in a single layer. (I would recommend using two baking sheets if it seems really crowded.)
  • Roast squash, turning every 15-20 minutes, until slightly browned and cooked to your liking. I turned my squash twice, with a total cooking time of 40 minutes, but I would start checking after 35 minutes.
  • When the squash is done, put it back into the same bowl and toss with the Feta cheese.
  • Season with fresh-ground black pepper to taste. This can be served hot or at room temperature.
  •  

    If you’re looking for fresh, local summer squash, check out our Online Store or click here to add squash to your next order. 



    Sources: 


    https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/ingredientsprofiles/Squash 


    https://kalynskitchen.com/roasted-summer-squash-recipe-with-lemon/