It's prime time for summer squash right now. Whether its zucchini, yellow or pattypan, you'll want to make a few recipes with this tasty treat before it falls out of season again. Grab a couple at your local farmers market or stop by your favorite grocery store. We've scoured the Internet for some of the best recipes and ranked them in terms of difficulty.
(reprinted here, courtesy of The Gingered Whisk)
2 zucchini, olive oil, salt and pepper, rosemary, sliced garlic cloves, Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 F. Cut zucchini into large coins and then quarter. Place the zucchini and garlic in a large ziplock bag. Drizzle in enough olive oil to coat, sprinkle in some salt and pepper and a bit of crushed rosemary, and squish to coat. Turn the zucchini out onto a cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, or until the zucchini is soft and starting to turn golden in a few places. Spoon the zucchini into a serving bowl and garnish with Parmesan cheese.
Difficulty: 1 out of 5
(modified and reprinted here, courtesy of The Kitchen)
2 medium yellow squash (about 1/2 pound), 4 small to medium red potatoes (about 1 pound), 3 tablespoons olive oil, 4 ounces goat cheese, Salt and freshly ground black pepper. 1/4 cup whole milk, 1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 1 tbs. thinly sliced basil or thyme leaves
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly grease a 1 1/2- to 2-quart casserole dish with a drizzle of olive oil. Slice the squash and potatoes into very, very thin slices, 1/8-inch or less. Toss the sliced vegetables with 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large bowl.
Place 1/3 of the squash and potato slices in the bottom of the dish — no need to layer them squash-potato-squash; just spread evenly — then season with salt and pepper. Top with half of the goat cheese, scattered evenly in large chunks. Repeat with another 1/3 of the vegetables, seasoning again with salt and pepper and topping with the other 1/2 of the goat cheese. Finish by layering on the final 1/3 of the vegetables and seasoning with salt and pepper.
Pour the milk over the entire dish. Top with the Parmesan cheese. Bake, covered, for 30 minutes, then uncover and bake 15 more minutes, until the top browns. Scatter on the fresh basil, if desired.
Difficulty: 2 out of 5
(recipe reprinted and modified courtesy of Feasting at Home)
4 to 5 summer squash, patty pan or zucchini (or enough to fill 3 to 4 jars), 1 small onion or shallot, 1 tablespoon salt, fresh dill, mustard seeds, 1 cup white wine vinegar, 1 cup rice wine vinegar, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt
Using a mandolin, carefully slice zucchini or summer squash. If using a knife, make sure to cut pieces as evenly as possible, to the same thickness. Thicker slices will result in a crunchier pickle. Paper thin will be softer. You could also try slicing lengthwise for zucchini ribbons. Do the same with one small onion, or shallot. Toss with a tablespoon of salt and let drain in a colander or strainer over a bowl in the fridge for an hour or so. Rinse and pat dry. In each jar, add about a tablespoon of fresh dill and a teaspoon of mustard seeds. You could add sliced red chili peppers, sliced onion or sliced garlic. You could also try other seeds like whole coriander or cumin seed or fennel seed.
For the pickle solution:
In a small pot, bring 1 cup white wine vinegar, 1 cup rice wine vinegar, 1/3 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon kosher salt to a boil until sugar dissolves, then let cool down. Layer squash in jars, then top off with liquid. Store in fridge for 1 to 2 weeks.
Difficulty: 4 out of 5
(recipe reprinted courtesy of The Comfort of Cooking)
3 medium zucchini sliced into skinny sticks, 2 beaten large eggs, 3 heaping tablespoons flour, 1/2 cup bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 425 F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Set aside. In a small bowl, beat egg with a fork until frothy. In another bowl, place flour, and in a third bowl, place your bread crumbs. Toss the breadcrumbs with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese and set aside. Dip the zucchini sticks into the flour, then egg, and then into the bread crumb mixture. Make sure all sides get coated well. Place the sticks on the prepared baking sheet. Bake at 425 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Serve warm with ranch dressing, marinara sauce or just as is.
Difficulty: 3 out of 5
(recipe courtesy of Sweet Happy Life)
For the brownies:
1/2 cup vegetable oil, 1 1/2 cups white sugar, 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract, 2 cups all-purpose flour, 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 2 cups shredded zucchini
For the frosting:
6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder, 1/4 cup butter, 1/4 cup milk, 2 cups confectioners sugar, 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 350 F and grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with a baking spray. In a large bowl, combine the oil, sugar and vanilla until well blended. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring just to combine. Fold in the zucchini and mix well. The batter will be very dry and you'll think you should add eggs or milk, but don't do it! Spread into the prepared pan, gently tapping the mixture down. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched.
To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa, the butter and the milk in the microwave for about 40 to 60 seconds. Mix well with a spatula or metal spoon. Allow to cool slightly, then add the vanilla and the confectioners sugar 1/2 cup at a time, mixing well between additions. Spread the frosting over the brownies once the brownies have cooled. Allow to set for an hour before digging in. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Difficulty: 3 out of 5