The term ‘summer squash’ is a sort of catch-all phrase for a number of different squashes that are in abundance this time of year. While larger squashes such as pumpkins and winter squashes such as butternut are ready later in the year, summer squashes are smaller and softer than their hard shelled cousins.
Zucchini is probably the most recognized summer squash with its smooth skin and either deep green or golden colour. Versatile and low in calories, this summer squash is easy to grow in a bright sunny backyard and tends to yield a crop large enough to share with the neighbours!
Often mistaken for zucchini, vegetable marrow is found in abundance at our local farmers market over the summer. Some varieties look like a striped dark green cousin of the more familiar squash, and can be used similarly. The skin slightly abrasive, akin to an old uncles bristly next day stubble. But don’t let that deter you! Other marrows have a smooth, pale green exterior and are used frequently in European cuisines to be scooped out and filled with a stuffing. This veggie doesn’t have much flavour of its own, but is good at holding that of others.
8-ball & globe squash are (as the name suggests) round little balls! Great for stuffing or just a fun alternative to any other summer squash your recipe calls for. Slice them into rounds, grill or fill them with deliciousness! I love sautéing squash in a cast iron pan over the fire when camping with garlic, sea salt & pepper.
Pattypan or sunburst squash is probably my favourite squash if I had to choose! They’re another fun veggie that delights me every time I see them (and usually take them home!). A white, green or a vibrant yellow in color, fairly small and shaped as the name would suggest, these summer squashes can also be hollowed out and filled with whatever your heart desires. These little squashes are a good source of magnesium and a few vitamins while remaining low in calories- so eat up!
I’m sharing with you my go-to brunch recipe, perfect for enjoying al fresco with the sun shining on your face and the grass between your toes. It seems to mysteriously taste just that much better in the summer sun! Enjoy the kitchn’s Baked Summer Squash Eggs:
Summer Squash with Baked Eggs
Serves 4; adapted from Food Network
2 pounds summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan, etc.)
1 tablespoon Kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
2 shallots, sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika, plus more for sprinkling
1/2 pound tomatoes, chopped
4 ounces soft goat cheese (chèvre)
1/4 cup loosely packed chiffonade of basil, plus more for garnish
Freshly ground black pepper
Trim the ends off the squash and grate using a box grater or a food processor with the grating attachment. Combine with 1 tablespoon salt in a colander and let drain in the sink for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F.
In an oven-proof skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots, garlic, and paprika and cook, stirring, until just tender and fragrant. Squeeze as much liquid as possible from the squash and add the squash to the skillet along with the tomatoes. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is tender and no longer releasing liquid, about 10 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat and stir in goat cheese and basil.
Smooth the mixture evenly in the skillet and make four wells using the back of a spoon. Pour 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in each well. One at a time, crack an egg into a small bowl and pour into one of the wells. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and paprika over each egg.
Bake until egg whites are set and yolks are still soft, about 10 minutes.
Garnish with basil and serve with crusty bread.