Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's raining Summer Squash in Seattle

Romanesco Zucchini Squash in Northwest -by Sue Shecket, webmaster and NW trial gardener

Now that our reputation for cool wet summers and grey skies has been ruined, I'm happy to report that this sunny warm Seattle summer has provided me with an excellent tan and a bumper crop of heat loving veggies. Of course my bounty has been shared with my neighbors and friends, but at a certain point, they start to hide behind the curtains when I'm spotted roaming the street with another bag of summer squash.

Summer Scallop Trio Squash northwestern squash
Fortunately, Renee has a wealth of ideas for coping with an excess of those little darlings, and provided me with an easy, quick way to make a huge pile of summer squash into a delicious (and reasonably sized) dish that is a great meal in itself. We've been happily eating this all week, and have yet to tire of Oven Baked Squash with Cheese. Here's how to do it:
Preheat your oven to 450 degrees (this is important!)
-Slice summer squash (zucchini, crookneck and/or scalloped) into 1/2 inch thick slices
-Spread in one layer in a large roasting pan and toss to coat with olive oil
(they will shrink a lot, so you can crowd them in there)
-Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste
-Bake for 20-25 min. -do not turn or stir- until flesh is very fork tender and tops are beginning to brown and carmelize.
-Remove from oven and immediately top with chopped fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan or Asiago cheese.

Serve with crusty bread to soak up juices. YUM
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