Monday, July 2, 2007


We're talking about garden squash, not the old American Indian game, or the kind that's a verb, as in squash a bug, but squash as in zuchini type. I love growing it because it makes me feel like I'm a really good gardener. Just about the only way it's going to die is if I don't water it. Even most of the time when we get bugs it still produces so much the neighbors run and hide when they see us coming with grocery bags full of squash.

This year I grabbed a packet of seeds from Lowe's of a variety I hadn't yet tried. They were a patty pan variety called "Spaceship Hybrid". If you know me then you know I always like to get the "different" or "unique" varieties of things, be they my animals or garden veggies. You can see they are the basic patty pan shape with the scalloped edges, but what makes these unique is their coloring. They are half yellow, like a typical patty pan squash, and the other half is the variegated green like a zuchini. The package says they will revert to all green if it starts getting too warm, and I find as our summer heat increases this is true. The taste is the same as any summer squash.

Now this recipe is probably a very basic recipe that anyone who's been cooking for a while will be familiar with. So this is really more for the cooking neophyte. One good thing about this is it is very versatile. It can be used as a side dish, or with a few additions it can be a hearty breakfast or even a main dinner entree. More on that later.

Here's what we'll need: butter, olive oil, garlic cloves, onion (your choice of yellow, white, or red), black pepper, and of course the squash. Squash can include any type of summer squash or zuchini.

Oh yeah, we also need your favorite shredded cheese, like parmesan, or asiago, or some such type, and my favority secret ingredient of all time: Knorr's Aromat. It's like a seasoning salt, only better. It may be difficult to find in your local store. Our Albertson's and Von's used to carry it, but for some unknown reason no longer do. I order it by the case from You might want to just order one to start, though, to see if you'll like it, but by ordering a case (12 containers), it reduces the cost dramatically. And I know I will use it.

One more word on the Aromat. It is better than regular salt on any kind of eggs, and it makes any sauteed vegetable better.

So first off melt about two to three tablespoons butter with about a quarter cup olive oil over medium heat. Put the chopped small onion (or half a large onion) in and sautee for a couple of minutes, until it starts to get soft.

Then add the two to four finely chopped garlic cloves. I say the more the better.

Sautee (don't forget to stir once in a while) garlic and onions for about another two minutes. Then add your chopped squash and sprinkle with Aromat and a few turns of the pepper mill. Put it on low and cover until the squash is tender. This may take about 10 to 20 minutes. Just keep checking until it reaches the tenderness you prefer.

Just before serving, sprinkle the shredded cheese over top. Here's one way to serve it, with pork shish kabobs and Rice-A-Roni!

Remember I told you how versatile this dish can be? Here's some gourmand speak:

"Add chopped fresh tomato during the last three minutes of cooking for another layer of flavor."

Aren't you impressed? I just made that up! For leftovers you can reheat in a pan, add a couple of beaten eggs and stir with a spatula. That's a good breakfast with a piece of homemade bread slathered with butter. Or you could brown some ground beef or your favorite sausage and add to the leftover squash. Serve with a little green salad and there's your dinner entree.

Okay, maybe it's not really "gourmet", but it's still good eats. (Alton Brown does not own that phrase, does he?)

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