Squash a versatile vegetable – posh or not

Published 9:09 am Thursday, August 9, 2018

With so many different ways to prepare, whether posh or not, fresh squash often finds a way to the dinner table.  Best straight from the garden in the summer and fall, but available year round, this light, earthy vegetable is compatible with many partners – herbs, cheese, other vegetables, and even fruit – apples being one of many fruits that’s a natural combination.

Right up there with potatoes, the cheesy, hot and bubbly, southern squash casserole has earned bragging rights as one of the best comfort foods.



2 lbs. sliced, fresh yellow squash

1 peeled, grated carrot

1 chopped, sweet onion

1 cup mayonnaise

1 cup grated, fresh Parmesan cheese

2 beaten eggs

½ tsp. salt

¼ tsp. freshly ground pepper

½ cup fresh, bread crumbs

2 Tbsp. melted butter

In a steamer pot, steam squash, carrot, and onions 15 minutes or until soft. In a mixer, combine mayonnaise, cheese, eggs, salt, and pepper. Mix well. Add the squash and onion and mix on low speed. Pour mixture into a greased 1 ½ quart baking dish. Cover with bread crumbs and drizzle melted butter on top. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes.


2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 chopped onion

2 cloves minced garlic

1 cup fresh breadcrumbs

¼ cup grated, fresh Parmesan cheese

¼ cup chopped, fresh parsley

2 Tbsp. chopped, fresh basil

1 lb. sliced, fresh zucchini

1 lb. sliced, fresh yellow squash

8 oz. grated mozzarella cheese, ¼ cup reserved

2 peeled and sliced, fresh tomatoes

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Black olives

In a skillet, heat olive oil. Saute onion and garlic until translucent. In a bowl, combine the bread crumbs, cheese, parsley, and basil. In a greased casserole dish, layer zucchini, yellow squash, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, onions, salt and pepper and breadcrumb mix. Repeat layers with remaining ¼ cup of mozzarella for the top. Cover and bake in a 350-degree oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil and bake for 25 minutes.  Garnish with black olives.


1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese

1 cup mayonnaise

3 chopped green onions

2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

1 Tbsp. chopped fresh chives

1 9-inch, baked pie shell

2 peeled and sliced, fresh tomatoes

2 sliced, fresh yellow squash

Salt and freshly ground pepper

Grated sharp cheddar cheese

In a mixer, combine cheese mayonnaise, onion, basil, and chives at slow speed. In the baked pie shell, layer tomatoes, squash, and cheese mixture. Salt and pepper between layers. Repeat. Cover top with grated cheddar. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until browned and bubbly.


3 Tbsp. butter

½ minced onion

1/8 tsp. garlic powder

1 lb. thinly sliced, fresh yellow squash

1½ cups chicken broth

¼ chopped, fresh watercress

½ cup half and half

¼ tsp salt

¼ tsp white pepper

In a large, heavy pot, melt the butter. Add onion, and saute until tender. Add garlic powder. Stir in squash, chicken broth, and watercress. Cover and simmer on stovetop for 15 minutes or until squash are tender. In a processor, process all of the squash mixture until smooth. Transfer pureed mixture to a bowl. Stir in half and half, add salt and pepper. Serve chilled.


4 fresh yellow squash

3 slices bacon

4 chopped, green onions

1 tsp. grated, green pepper

¾ cup fresh breadcrumbs

½ tsp. freshly ground pepper

¼ tsp. salt

3 Tbsp. melted salted butter

3 Tbsp. grated, fresh Parmesan cheese

In a deep pot, cover squash with water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes until squash are tender but still firm. Drain and cool. Cut squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out squash pulp and place in a mixer bowl, while reserving firm shell. Set shells aside.    In a skillet, fry bacon until crisp, then drain, cool and crumble. In the same skillet, reserve 1 ½ tsp. bacon grease and add onions and green pepper. Saute until tender. With the mixer on slow speed, combine the squash pulp, bacon, onions, green pepper, breadcrumbs, pepper, salt, and butter.  Spoon mixture into squash shells. Place shells in a 13 x 9 baking dish. Sprinkle cheese on top of shells. Broil 4 inches from heat for 3 minutes or until lightly browned.


2 Tbsp. salted butter

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

½ butternut squash, diced

1 chopped, yellow onion

1½ cups Arborio rice

1½ cups white wine, divided

4 cups chicken stock, divided

½ butternut squash, shredded

3 minced garlic cloves

Pinch of nutmeg

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup grated, fresh Parmesan cheese

Divide squash into two halves. Peel each half, dice ½ inches of one half and shred the other half. In a large, deep pan, melt the butter, and add olive oil. Add the diced squash and onion. Saute 6 minutes or until softened. Add the rice and stir 4 minutes until coated. Pour in ¾ cup of wine. Cook and stir until wine is absorbed. Add remainder of wine and cook until absorbed. Begin to add chicken broth, ½ cup at one time, stirring between until stock is absorbed and then add another ½ cup. Repeat for 15 minutes or so until rice is tender. Stir in shredded squash and continue to cook, adding more broth for 20 minutes or until rice is done. Stir in garlic, nutmeg and salt and pepper to taste. Add more broth if needed. Rice should be creamy. Stir in parmesan cheese.


1 lb. sliced, fresh yellow squash

1 lb. sliced, fresh zucchini squash

2 tsp. salt

2 Tbsp. butter

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1 chopped onion

2 minced garlic cloves

1 cup heavy cream

½ cup shredded Gruyere cheese

Salt and fresh, ground pepper

1 sleeve of butter crackers

¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup melted, salted butter

In a bowl, combine squash and salt. In a deep skillet, melt the butter, and add olive oil. Saute onion and garlic for 3 minutes or until tender.  Add the squash, stir and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream, Gruyere cheese, salt and pepper to taste, and continue to cook until cream is absorbed. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Combine cracker crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Spread over the top. Drizzle with melted butter. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 30 minutes or until bubbly.


4 quarts sliced, fresh yellow squash

6 sliced onions

¼ cup salt

Ice cubes

2 cups white vinegar

2 cups sugar

1½ tsp. mustard seed

1½ tsp. celery seed

Slice squash and onions. Layer in a large dish. Sprinkle with salt. Cover with ice cubes for 3 hours. Drain. Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard and celery seeds in a deep pan and bring to a boil. Add squash to the mixture and boil for 3 minutes. Fill sterilized jars with pickles and seal.


2 Tbsp. salted butter

¼ cup chopped onion

¼ cup chopped green pepper

1 minced, garlic clove

1 tsp. crushed oregano leaves

1 bay leaf

1 can condensed tomato soup

1½ lbs. sliced fresh zucchini

½ cup sliced, fresh mushrooms

In a deep skillet, melt butter. Saute onion, peppers, and garlic until tender. Add oregano and bay leaf.  Add tomato soup, zucchini, and mushrooms. Cover with lid and simmer 15 minutes, stirring a few times while cooking. Remove bay leaf. Serve over any pasta.


4 Tbsp. salted butter

2 cups chopped, yellow onions

1 minced garlic clove

3 lbs. peeled, seeded, and diced butternut squash

2 peeled, cored, chopped Granny Smith apples

3 cups chicken broth

1 cup apple juice

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1 unpeeled, grated Granny Smith Apple for garnish

In a deep pot, melt butter. Add onions and garlic and cook until tender. Add the squash, apples, broth, and bring to a boil. Simmer covered for 25 minutes until squash and apples are tender. Strain soup and reserve liquid in the pot. Transfer solids to a food processor. Process until smooth. Combine pureed mixture to pot with liquid.  Add apple juice until desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper. Serve warm. Garnish with grated apple.


5 Tbsp. salted butter

1 Tbsp. finely chopped, fresh rosemary

Hints: Always read the entire recipe before preparing. When I was learning to cook, I made too many mistakes by not reading the entire recipe before I began. Even though many squash recipes call to boil squash, I think the water dilutes the flavor. Instead, I prefer slightly steaming, roasting in an oven, or cooking in a skillet with a little butter, just enough to still be firm and not mushy. Experiment using different types of summer or winter squash with recipes.