Summer squashes: a tentative truce.

zucchini and summer squash

I know I have recently discussed my previously dislike of avocado, but it needs to be said again: I do not especially like zucchini and/or summer squash either.

I just find it bland and too easily overcooked and just… bleh. Or maybe I just can’t shake the memory of having tried zucchini as a kid, cooked the way Italians like it, which is stewed to the brink of slimy disintegration with some tomatoes. I mean, come on. Tomatoes deserve better than that.

But earlier this week, I picked up a box of assorted produce… and in it? Two zucchini and two summer squash. There was nothing left to do but make my peace with this long-detested vegetable.

shredded zucchini

For starters, I hoped to avoid the shudder-inducing squelch of overcooking, so I shredded a zucchini and a summer squash into long strips with a mandoline, salted them well, and let them sit for about 15 minutes. After that, I rinsed them off, squeezed out the excess water… and buried them under a massive amount of pasta sauce. Because, hey, baby steps, right?

The result was… okay. They retained a fair amount of crunch (prompting my kid to ask what went wrong with the supposed pasta) but it was, you know, edible, which I consider to be a not-insignificant advance in ending the long cold war with this vegetable.

I’m ready to try again so I now ask you: what do I do with the remaining zucchini and summer squash? Ideally, no zucchini bread (too hot to have the oven on for 45+ minutes) and nothing with tomatoes (because blech).

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8 thoughts on “Summer squashes: a tentative truce.

  1. I like to slice them into not-too-thick coins, then simply saute in olive oil (or olive oil & butter halvsies) and salt until they get brown patches like fried potatoes do. The insides are soft, but the crispier/drier outsides keep them from being mushy. Don’t crowd the pan though or they’ll just mush instead of crisp.

  2. Have you tried to use them in place of lasagna noodles? No tomato lasagna: sautéed mushrooms, chopped & drained spinach, bechamel, cheese and tons of fresh herbs.

    P.s. I also have an aversion to avocado, guacamole specifically. Something that color should not be that consistency.

    1. Hahahahah — I have come around on guacamole, but say, a slice of avocado…? No. Just no. Sinking my teeth into that texture just gives me the jibblies.

  3. I think they’re mild enough that I just slice them into rounds, quarters, or sticks and toss them in salad (vinaigrettes add some kick) or use them with a dip. They also work well lightly sauted with minced onions and garlic, or stuffed. I think you mentioned a while back that you have Donna Klein’s “Supermarket Vegan”? She has a recipe for stuffed zucchini that I’m willing to bet is awesome. She also has a ton of squash/zucchini recipes in her “The Mediterranean Vegan” (not all calling for tomatoes).

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