Veggie of the Week - Squash
sponsored by Coleman Farms
Zucchini? Zucchini is about as exceptional as beach weather in Santa Barbara, but just about when beach weather becomes special, so do Summer Squash. As soon as rain and cooler temperatures come on, it's finito, so the next few markets will probably have the last outdoor grown zucchini until next Summer's squash.
In addition to their incipient rarity enhancing Summer Squash, now is Squash Crossover, that time of the year when both Summer and Winter Squash are available. This makes possible the confection of Squash medleys, mixing several varieties of Summer and Winter Squash in one dish, allowing you to set the slightly astringent green vegetable lightness and soft texture of small Zucchini against the sweet, nutty yamminess of Butternut, say. Older Summer Squash, like the large courge or vegetable marrow in the photo have cooking and eating properties somewhere between younger Summer Squash and Winter Squash, and should mix fairly well with the Winter variety.
All sorts of ideas come to mind - a soup based on pureed Winter squash with chunks of lightly cooked Summer Squash added before serving; a casserole combining several squash, cut and cooked to reveal some textural contrast between the two sorts; or a multi-squash burrito, adding chopped onions, black beans, cumin, chili and cilantro.
Well, I'm famished, so that's it for this week.
Summer Squash should be avialable for a few more markets, just keep your eyes open as you walk through.