Squash, it sounds like something really horrible. Like a "squashed" bug or something. No wonder my children don't want to eat it. What is it? According to Wikipedia, "In North America, squash is loosely grouped into summer squash or winter squash, depending on whether they are harvested as immature fruit (summer squash) or mature fruit (autumn squash or winter squash)." Around here when we say squash we are usually referring to Yellow Summer Squash, but it can also loosely include Zucchini. In other countries it is often referred to as "Courgettes", which specifically refers to Zucchini in Italy and my favorite, France. So, I have taken to calling them, "Courgettes." Around here in the Summer time, if you have a garden you have a plethora of courgettes! So, it becomes a challenge to see how many ways they can be prepared....
1. Fried, traditional method of preparation, dipped in flour, seasoned with salt and pepper and fried in a skillet until browned and crisp.
2. A couple of variations on fried, batter dipped, and fried like fried potatoes with no flour.
3. Grilled, this is one of our favorites... cut them up chunky style, like 3-4 inch chunks sliced in half lengthwise, toss them on the grill, cook until tender. Or you can marinate them before hand in olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. Or for another variation add lemon juice and Oregano to the above marinade. Place it in a ziploc baggie with the Courgettes and let marinate until ready to grill, turning the baggie occasionally.
4. Slice them very thin (I use a mandolin). On a griddle drizzle a little Olive Oil and add a couple of cloves of minced garlic. Let heat until the garlic "speaks". Coat the courgettes with Chile Lime Rub from Williams-Sonoma. Place in hot oil, cook until browned, turning once. This is another favorite way to cook them.
5. Stuffed, mix the stuffing using dried bread crumbs, basil, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and of course, garlic, you can also add a little onion if you like. Slice a courgette in half lengthwise. Scoop out a little of the center, the part with the seeds. Fill with stuffing, top with more Parmesan, place in oven at 350 degrees. Bake until tender.
6. Slice courgettes in half lengthwise, slash the top of each piece of courgette. Spread some butter on each piece. Salt and Pepper. Top with Parmesan cheese. Broil until cheese is browned and courgette is tender.
7. Shred. Shred peeled courgettes. Freeze for later use. I use it to make Zucchini Bread, put in soups.
8. Our latest favorite way is to cut it up in about 1 inch chunks. In a skillet drizzle some olive oil, place 4-5 or more cloves of minced garlic. Heat until garlic "speaks." Add courgettes. Salt and Pepper to taste. I use Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Saute until tender.
9. Tried Zucchini Strings...think Onion Strings... those were pretty good.
How many ways do you prepare courgettes? Add your own methods below in the comments. I am sure I will need some more ways to prepare them. ; )
So what's for dinner? Courgettes, of course!