Local Food Challenge…Summer Squash

What’s for dinner tonight? Sun-kissed summer squash, patty pan, zucchini, yellow or green, the choice is yours. Zucchini is most well known for adding moist flavour and nutrition to Chocolate Zucchini Cake. But since we’re going 100 Mile, we’ve made some delicious meals instead. Zucchini and pattypan squash have a delicate and creamy flavour that versatile to use in a variety of dishes. We offer two scrumptious ways to enjoy squash: stuffed or thinly sliced for a summer-fresh pasta dish.

 Zucchini Pasta with Fresh Tomato Sauce
1 large or 3 small zucchini
1 tbsp butter or vegetable oil (wild card alert on the vegetable oil)
½ red onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
24 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
1/3 cup fresh basil, chiffonade (or chopped) 

To create zucchini pasta, cut zucchini lengthwise into long strips using a julienne tool, potato peeler or thinly slice with a good knife.
The fresh tomato sauce cooks up quickly, so be ready to cook the zucchini noodles while the sauce is cooking. You can either place the zucchini noodles into a strainer and submerge them into a pot of boiling water to cook for 3 minutes (the strainer makes it easy to remove the zucchini) or place zucchini noodles in a large bowl and pour boiling water over top, cover and let sit for about 4-5 minutes to soften and heat.  
In a skillet or saucepan, heat butter or oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook for 5 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes and cook until tomatoes start to soften, about 2-3 minutes. Add fresh basil and toss gently to mix. Add hot zucchini noodles and toss gently again. It’s simple, easy and super delicious!

Goat Cheese Stuffed Pattypan Squash
2 large or 4 smaller pattypan squash
1 tbsp butter or vegetable oil (wild card alert on the vegetable oil)
½ cup onion, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp goat cheese
2 tbsp fresh basil, dill or thyme, chopped

Preheat oven to 375°F or fire up the barbecue.
Slice off the top of the pattypan squash and using a spoon, scoop out the flesh, keeping the shells intact. Chop up the scooped out squash flesh.
In a skillet over medium heat, cook onion and garlic in oil or butter for 5 minutes. Add chopped squash flesh and cook for another 3 minutes. Cool slightly. Stir in goat cheese and chopped herbs. Stuff filling into pattypan squash and if desired replace with its top. Place in a baking dish or barbecue dish. Pour about ½ cup of water into bottom of dish. Bake or barbecue until squash is tender, about 45-50 minutes for larger pattypan and 25-30 minutes for smaller ones.

What’s your favourite way to enjoy summer squash?

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