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Posts Tagged ‘Summer Squash’

From:  http://whatscookingamerica.net/squash.htm

 The term “summer” and “winter” for squash are only based on current usage, not on actuality. “Summer” types are on the market all winter; and “winter” types are on the markets in the late summer and fall, as well as winter. Thus, the terms “summer” and “winter” are deceptive and confusing. This terminology was never meant to confuse – it just dates back to a time when the seasons were more crucial to man’s survival than they are now. “Good keepers” became known as winter vegetables if they would “keep” until December.

Winter squash comes in shapes round and elongated, scalloped and pear-shaped with flesh that ranges from golden-yellow to brilliant orange. Most winter squashes are vine-type plants whose fruits are harvested when fully mature. They take longer to mature than summer squash (3 months or more) and are best harvested once the cool weather of fall sets in. They can be stored for months in a cool basement-hence the name “winter” squash. Stay away from pumpkin pumpkins, whether they’re the classic field type or the original French variety. Carve them, but don’t eat them: they’re tough and bland.

 Equivalents

  • 1/3 to 1/2 pound raw unpeeled squash = 1 serving
  • 1 pound peeled squash = 1 cup cooked, mashed
  • 2-1/2 pounds whole squash = 2-3/4 to 3 cups pureed
  • 1 pound trimmed squash = 2 cups cooked pieces
  • 1 pound squash = 2 to 3 servings
  • 12 ounces frozen squash = 1-1/2 cups
  • 1 medium-size (15 to 20 pounds) pumpkin = 5 to 7 quarts of cooked pumpkin.

To Store

  • Place whole winter squash on top of thick pads of newspapers in a cool, dry, well-ventilated location, preferably between 45 and 50 degrees F. Check on a regular basis for rot and use within three to six months depending on variety of squash.
  • Refrigerate tightly wrapped cut pieces of winter squash, such as banana, and use within 5 days.
  • Once a squash is cooked (by steaming or baking), the flesh of the squash can be stored frozen until needed.

  To Prepare and Use Squash

  • Look for squash that feels heavy for its size and has hard, deep-colored skin free from blemishes.
  • All varieties are great for puréeing, roasting and baking. Once squash is cooked and mashed, it can be used in soups, main dishes, vegetable side dishes, even breads, muffins, custards and pies.

Summer Squash

  • Thoroughly scrub each squash under running water until the skin feels clean. The cut off and discard the stem end and scrape off the other end. Only if the skin is unusually tough or the surface feels especially gritty after washing, is it necessary to peel the squash. Most summer squash is now ready to be used in any recipe.
  • Depending on your recipe, you may grate, slice, or cut into pieces of various shapes.
  • To steam summer squash: Arrange the slices/pieces of squash in a strainer or rack over 1/2-inch of boiling water. Cover and steam just until barely tender. Remove from heat and drain well. Toss with melted butter or your favorite sauce.
  • To saute: Cook in butter over medium-high heat until barely tender. Season with herbs of your choice, salt, and pepper.

Winter Squash

  • Winter squash matures on the vine and develops an inedible, thick, hard rind and tough seeds. Winter squash can be cut in halves or pieces.
  • Dress any cooked winter squash with butter and herbs, a cream sauce, cheese sauce, maple syrup and nuts, marinara sauce or stewed fruit.
  • Squash pulp is also used for pies and may be prepared in casseroles, soufflés, pancakes, and custards.
  • Preparing Squash: Too cook them, first remove fibers and seeds. Wash the exterior of the squash just before using. The seeds are scooped out before or after cooking. Then bake, steam, or boil the squash.
  • Using Water When Cooking Squash: When water is used in cooking the squash, the quantity of water should be kept small to avoid losing flavor and nutrients.
  • Peeling Squash:  Because this rind makes most squash difficult to peel, it’s easier to cook the unpeeled squash, and then scoop out the cooked flesh.
  • Cutting Squash: Acorn and butternut squash are frequently cut in half, baked, and served in the shell. To cut in half, grasp the squash firmly and use a sharp knife to slice through to the center. Then flip and cut the other side until the squash falls open. Remove and discard the seeds.
  • To Bake: Using a whole (1 to 1 1/2 pound) winter squash, pierce the rind with a fork and bake in a 350-degree oven 45 minutes. (OR—from jess—cut in half and place cut side down in a pan of water about a ¼- ½ inch deep to keep the squash from drying out.)
  • Boil or Steam: Cut into quarters or rings 25 minutes or until tender. Boil or mash winter squash just as you would potatoes. Or add peeled squash cubes to your favorite soups, stews, beans, gratins and vegetable ragouts.
  • To Microwave: Place halves or quarters, cut side down, in a shallow dish; add 1/4 cup water. Cover tightly and microwave on HIGH 6 minutes per pound. Whole Squash – Poke squash all over with a fork. Microwave the squash at full power (High) approximately 5 to 10 minutes (depending on size of squash).
  • Testing Squash for Doneness: Test for doneness by piercing with a fork. Fork should easily pierce peel and flesh. Let sit until cool enough to handle, cut in half lengthwise, scoop out seeds (if needed), and proceed with recipe or eat.

Freezing Summer Squash (Cocozelle, Crookneck, Pattypan, Straightneck, White Scallop, Zucchini):

  • Choose young squash with tender skin.
  • Wash and cut in 1/2-inch slices. Water blanch 3 minutes. Cool promptly, drain and package, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Seal and freeze.
  • Grated Zucchini (for Baking) – Choose young tender zucchini. Wash and grate. Steam blanch in small quantities 1 to 2 minutes until translucent. Pack in measured amounts into containers, leaving 1/2-inch headspace. Cool by placing the containers in cold water. Seal and freeze.
  • If watery when thawed, discard the liquid before using the zucchini.

 Freezing Winter Squash:

  • Choose firm, well-shaped squash that are heavy for their size and have a hard, tough skin. Do not choose those that have sunken or moldy spots. Avoid squash with cuts or punctures in the skin. Also, slight variations in skin color do not affect flavor. A tender rind indicates immaturity, which is a sign of poor quality in winter squash varieties.
  • Wash and cut squash into small pieces, remove seeds and peel. Cook until soft. Mash pulp or put through sieve. (or—just freeze chunks of squash)
  • Cool by placing pan containing squash over crushed ice and stir until cool. Place in an appropriate freeze bag, or container, with 1/2″ headspace; freeze.
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From: Grocery Gardening Planting, Preparing and Preserving Fresh Food, by Jean Ann Van Krevelen

Prep Time:
Cook Time:
Total Time:
Servings:

Ingredients:
3 to 4 quarts White Corn, cooked
1 cucumber, diced
4 fresh Tomatoes, diced
2 cups Green Beans, trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces, and blanched
1 Green Pepper, diced
1 Red, Yellow, or Orange Pepper, diced
1 medium Zucchini, diced
1 medium Yellow Squash, diced
1 medium Yellow Onion, diced
Dressing (Below)

Directions:
Mix the corn, cucumber, tomatoes, and prepared green beans in a large bowl. In a skillet over medium heat, lightly saute the peppers, zucchini, squash, and onion. Add the sauted vegetables to the corn mixture. Refrigerate.

Dressing:
1/2 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
1/2 cup Olive Oil
1/2 tablespoon Coriander
fresh chopped Cilantro

To prepare the dressing, mix the vinegar, olive oil, coriander, and cilantro to taste in a small bowl. Refrigerate. Combine the chilled corn salad and the chilled marinade just before serving.

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