Summer arrives and the first squash from local gardens and truck patches can't be far behind.

Summer squash, paticularly the yellow crookneck and the green zucchini, seem to be favorites in this part of the country.

Summer and winter squash each grow in quite a few varities, and each variety can be served in various dishes. Squash blooms, lightly battered and fried, are a delicacy.

Small tender yellow squash, washed and sliced, are good in tossed salads - or on a raw vegetable tray served with your favorite dip.

Southern cooks traditionally have put fried squash right up there with fried okra, fried eggplant, and fried green tomatoes as favored fare. For family meals in summer, they are often served with a variety of stewed vegetables, a pone of cornbread, and a platter of sliced ripe tomatoes, along with the obligatory iced tea.

Squash is a gourd fruit, native to the Western Hemisphere, where it has been used for 2,000 years or more. Summer squash provides vitamin C, vitamin A, niacin. It is low in calories and sodium, but that's not always true after cooking with fats and salt.

The following squash recipes came from a variety of sources.


2 pound yellow summer squash

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon margarine

1 8-ounce can mandarin orages

2 teaspoons light-brown sugar

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds

Wash and slice squash. Cook in small amount of salted water just until tender; drain, add margarine, and keep warm. Pour syrup from oranges into a saucepan, add sugar, and bring to a boil. Add nutmeg and orange segments. Pour over squash, sprinkle with nuts, and serve hot.


2 pounds yellow summer squash, washed and sliced

3 medium onions, sliced thin

3 tablespoons margarine

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Melt margarine in skillet. Combine remaining ingredients and add to skillet. Cook over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until squash and onions are tender.


2 medium zucchini, about 1 pound


1 clove garlic, minced

2 tablespoons margarine

2 cups bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon oregano

Pepper and salt to taste

Wash and cook unpeeled zucchini in salted water about 10 minutes. Drain and cut into half, lengthwise, and scoop and chop pulp. Cook garlic in margarine for a few seconds; stir in chopped pulp, bread cubes, oregano, salt and pepper to taste. Place in greased casserole and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.


3 medium-size yellow squash

1 cup soda cracker crumbs

2 eggs, beaten

1/4 cup milk

Salt, pepper to taste

1/4 cup margarine

Slice squash into bowl. Lightly mix cracker crumbs, eggs, milk and seasonings; pour over squash and stir to coat. Heat 1/4 cup margarine in skillet, add squash, and cook over medium heat. Lift and turn with spatula as squash begins to brown.


2 cups cooked yellow squash

1 and 1/2 cups cornbread, crumbled

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 egg

1 and 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar cheese (save 1/2 cup for topping)

2 tablespoons margarine

1/3 to 1/2 cup milk

Saute onion in margarine. Mix squash, bread crumbs, and onions. Add egg, 1 cup cheese, and milk. Pour into greased 1-quart casserole. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese, and return to oven just long enough to melt cheese.

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