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Seasonal Cooking: Summer Squash

These Mexican Veggie Stacks from Good Housekeeping deliver a heaping helping of chili-spiced, grilled vegetables, including fresh corn, tomatoes, onions, and zucchini.

It’s the end of summer squash season in Texas – and in lots of other places too – so I thought you might appreciate a round of some fantastic recipes that include this delicious, easy to cook ingredient.  You may already know that the term “summer squash” actually refers to a whole range of soft-skinned, fully edible squash.  There is a spectrum of varieties included under this heading, but most common in Texas are yellow summer squash and zucchini.

If you aren’t sure what’s in season where you live (from local growers), a great resource is Epicurious’ seasonal produce map.  Here you can dial up a list of ingredients by selecting your state from a map and scrolling through the months at the top of the screen.  (Also great for planning the menu for that dinner party you are going to host in three months.)

For an unusual Tex-Mex dish, be sure to roll up a batch of Squash Blossom Poblano Enchiladas.  This savory, spicy dish from The Best of Thymes is inspired by squash blossom crepes from Hugo’s here in Houston.  (And, if you aren’t up to making this yummy dish yourself, you can still get your fix with the squash blossom stuffed poblano pepper on Hugo’s Houston Restaurant Week lunch menu.)

Another Southwest delight that blends zucchini with fresh seasonal tomatoes and more poblano chiles are Mexican Veggie Stacks from Good Housekeeping.  Given the temperature lately, Kirk and I have been looking for any chance to cook on the grill and keep from warming up the kitchen.  These spicy, easy to make, vegetarian entrees are just the ticket.  Plus the dish, which combines soft, warm grilled veggies with a fresh raw tomato, is beautiful on the plate.  Serve with rice and beans and you have a complete meal in 35 minutes.

Lentil salad with grilled zucchini from Stone Soup packs a nutritional punch and is both delicious and beautiful.

A protein packed way to enjoy zucchini is this beautiful and simple lentil and zucchini salad from Stone Soup.  (Great with prosciutto as suggested if you have a carnivore at the table, but just as lovely without.) But, if you eat fish, you might enjoy a recipe Kirk and I recently tried a for summer salmon cakes with zucchini fennel slaw.  It was fast, easy and really, really good.  The zucchini made the salmon cake a more robust meal and the fennel slaw was the perfect balance.

Summer Salmon Cakes with Zucchini Fennel Slaw from Gourmet combine rich flavors for a hearty pescatarian dinner.

Of course, the thing about summer squash is that they grow so well and in abundance.  Which means you have probably already made a lot of wonderful recipes so far this season.  Which were your favorites?  Be sure to share because I can’t wait to make them.

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