Recipe For Health
by Jill Yarbrough, Dining Services Test Kitchen Manager
Featured Food: Summer Squash Yield: Serves 4-6Learn more about Summer Squash

Ingredients

  • Marinade:
  • 1 c. Honey Dijon vinaigrette
  • ½ c. dry white wine
  • 1 t. fresh basil, chopped or ½ t. dry
  • Vegetables:
  • 3 c. fresh mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 c. onion, cut into ½” x 1” wedges
  • 1 c. green peppers, julienned
  • 1 ½ c. zucchini squash, sliced into ¼-inch coins
  • 1 ½ c. yellow squash, sliced into ¼-inch coins
  • 1 c. carrots, sliced
  • 1 T. canola or vegetable oil

Preparation

Mix marinade ingredients together. Add vegetables to the marinade; refrigerate for three to four hours, stirring occasionally. Drain vegetables, reserving marinade. Heat oil in sauté pan or wok.

Add vegetables to pan and stir-fry until tender. Add as much marinade as desired for flavor. Heat through. Serve with rice. Meat or tofu can be added if desired.

Learn More About Summer Squash

The tender summer varieties of squash are just beginning to appear on the vine and in the farmers’ markets. Summer squash differ from winter squash — the summer varieties grow on a bush-type plant rather than a spreading vine and are harvested at the immature stage before the rind hardens.

There are three main types of summer squash:

• Italian marrows, which includes Zucchini, Cocozelle and Caserta, are usually shades of green.

• Constricted neck, which includes Crookneck and Straightneck, are commonly referred to as yellow squash because of their bumpy or smooth, yellow skin.

• Scallop, which includes Patty Pan, Peter Pan and Scallopini, are greenish white or yellow, and are round and flattened like a plate with scalloped edges, hence the name.

When it comes to summer squash, bigger is not better. Italian marrows and yellow squash have the best taste and texture when two inches or less in diameter and six to eight inches long. Scallop types are best when three to four inches in diameter. Tiny squash are delicious used whole in a stir-fry or on a vegetable tray.

Mid-size summer squash can be hollowed out, stuffed and baked, or grated for use in baking bread and other items. If the squash rind is too hard to be marked by a thumbnail, it is too old — best to heave it onto the compost pile!

Handle your squash with care as the skin scratches and bruises easily. Plan to use the summer squash you pick or buy quickly. Store unwashed in a plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator. The storage life is short — use within two to three days.

Never peel a summer squash since the skin is where the nutrients are.

Peggy Crum, MA, RD

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