Summer Squash is the fruit (vegetable) of a gourd that is highly perishable and the skin and seeds can be eaten.
The name summer squash refers to a number of varieties of thin skinned squashes that are primarily grown and harvested in the summer months. Varieties include; zucchini, scallop squash, patty pan squash, crookneck squash, straightneck squash, and cocozelle squash.
For best flavor and most tender seeds, squash should be picked young, from 6 to 10 inches long. Pattypan, a saucer-shaped squash, should be no more than 4 inches in diameter.
Selecting and Buying
Plant anytime after the danger of frost has passed, from early spring until midsummer. Some gardeners have two main plantings - one for early summer harvest and another for late summer and fall harvest. Any well-drained garden soil produces excellent yields of summer squash. Certain mulches increase earliness and yields, because the roots are shallow.
Preparation and Use
A summer squash casserole recipe.
* 1/4 cup chopped onions
* 3 tablespoons butter
* 3 hard cooked eggs, chopped
* 3 summer squash, diced, about 3 cups
* 2 eggs, beaten
* 1/3 cup half-and-half
* 1/4 cup soft bread crumbs tossed with 1 tablespoons melted butter
In a saucepan, sauté onion in butter. In a large bowl, combine onions and butter with summer squash and chopped hard cooked eggs. Place squash mixture in a greased 1 1/2-quart casserole. Mix beaten eggs with half-and-half; pour over squash in casserole. Sprinkle top with buttered bread crumbs. Bake at 350° for 30 minutes.
Conserving and Storing
Summer squash only keeps for a few days; store it in your refrigerator's crisper drawer. It's best when you can cut it directly off your plant and eaten the same day.