Summer Squash: The Zucchini That Got Away

Does summer squash grow in a Louisiana garden? Yes, I planted several varieties of squash this spring. In the morning we go out to the garden, eager to see what is there. Kind of a treasure hunt; it’s exciting to find a new vegetable growing. The squash hide under the big leaves, you’ve got to look hard from several angles to see them. One zucchini got away.

summer squash from garden - 2 - IMG_4608_1

The large leaves of the squash do a good job of protecting the young squash; especially if you haven’t followed planting guidelines and have them planted too close together.

Zucchini squash plant with squash - 2 - IMG_4939_1

 

One morning we found a surprise. I thought we’d looked everywhere, but walked to the other side of the garden and pulled the leaves back. There was a zucchini hiding; we’d missed this one for quite a while.
zucchini squash with bowl of summer squash - 1 - IMG_4604_1

Quite hefty, the zucchini was 11 inches long and weighted 1 1/2 lb. Enough for several meals.

Is it easy to grow squash? Hum. perhaps. I planted several varieties of yellow crookneck squash, zucchini and patty pan squash, shown above, and have had had variable luck growing squash in past years. There are many things that can go wrong with growing squash; starting with poor pollination. Squash like full sun, plenty of space and well drained soil. This will make it easier to keep up with all the insects, worms and fungus that can attack them.

Squash: Not a Favorite Vegetable

I have to admit, squash is not a favorite vegetable for many folks. When overcooked, squash can be mushy with a strong flavor. But when prepared properly squash is delicious. I’ve found several ways to cook squash including combining it with other vegetables, disguising it with a sauce and stuffing it.

Oven Roasted Zucchini, Potato and Onion Medley

One easy way to prepare zucchini is to make a vegetable medley. Mix it in with onions, Butter Gold potatoes and rosemary. It’s quite tasty this way.

cut up squash for medley - IMG_4576_1

Since the foods cook at different rates, I often pre-cook the potatoes.  Then cut them in small quarters the same size as the squash, toss them with olive oil, salt, white pepper and rosemary and bake.

It’s also easy to skip pre-cooking the potatoes. In this case, line the baking sheet with several pieces of overlapping foil. Place the vegetables in a single layer; gather the foil up around the vegetables making a foil packet. Make several slits in the top of the foil. Bake on the bottom rack of the oven. This steams the vegetables and prevents drying out.

Recipe

1 lb Butter Gold potatoes, about 5 small potatoes
1 lb zucchini (or combination of zucchini and yellow squash); since squash very in size, weight the squash)
1 large onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp white pepper
1 Tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
2-3 Tbsp olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cut potatoes into quarters or eights. Slice zucchini, splitting larger pieces into halves. Cut onion into large diced pieces. Combine all vegetables in large bowl. Season with salt, white pepper and rosemary. Drizzle with olive oil and stir to coat and combine. Lay two overlapping pieces of foil onto baking sheet. Spread vegetables onto foil in single layer. Pull foil up over vegetables making a packet and make several slits on top of foil. Bake for 30 minutes until vegetables are tender and potatoes are cooked.

Serves 3-4.

oven roasted zucchini, potatoes and onions - IMG_4988_1

 

 

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