Summer Squash: It’s Coming Whether you’re ready or not
As an ardent gardener, I look into the back patch of my vegetable garden and wonder if I’ve saved enough space for the zucchini. If you’ve ever grown any of the squashes, you will immediately see where they got their inspiration for the iconic science fiction movie , Invasion of the Body Snatchers. If you haven’t seen this movie in awhile, you might want to watch it before you put in that squash patch out back. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you. Zucchini and other yellow squashes are delicious, cooked many different ways and the summer’s best producer. But their greatest asset is also their worst liability. They just grow and grow and grow.
Summer’s Smash: Huge Zucchini Mash
Those of you who garden know the zucchini’s deepest secrets. It can go from a nice, presentable vegetable on the vine one day, to a humongous baseball bat overnight. And what can you do with that? Well, first of all, cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out and discard the seeds. Then you can use it for a vessel to serve other mixtures, or you can just whack it into submission, cook until tender and mash it like you would potatoes. Stir in some green onions and you have a brightly flavored summer delight that’s waaaayyyyy low in calories and carbs. Like about 3. Are you ready for that?
1 medium green bell pepper, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large garlic clove, smashed
2 pounds zucchini (can be one big baseball bat sized one or several smaller ones) whacked into pieces
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/3 cup chopped scallion greens
Sauté the pepper in oil and butter in a wide 4-quart heavy pot over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 6 minutes. Add garlic and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add zucchini, water, salt, and pepper and bring to a boil over moderately high heat, then cook at a brisk simmer, covered, until tender. Once most of the liquid has evaporated, transfer the mixture to the food processor.
Process zucchini to a rough puree then stir in green onions and more butter to taste. Serve hot.