In August, Way Too Much Squash

On the left a zucchini. Do I need to say anything about zucchini? What to do with it, perhaps, since prodigiousness is the zucchini’s modus operandi, but that bottomless subject would be best left to the proprietor of a an all zucchini blog. Rather, let’s take a brief look at the specimen on the right.

Meet the awkwardly named Early Prolific Straightneck Summer Squash. It’s an open pollinated heirloom variety named as an “All-America Selection” in 1938 (AAS is kind of like a dog show for seeds run by the National Garden Bureau). We grew our EPS from Botanical Interests seeds we got at our local nusery.

Our EPS squash has lived up to its name, having grown rapidly, producing tasty summer squash with a zucchini-like flavor and consistency. Unfortunately, all squash that we have grown here has been subject to powdery mildew, a white fungus that spreads rapidly across the leaves of the plant. Our coastal climate, with hot days and cool, moist nights is not the optimal growing climate for squash, which prefer dryer conditions. We’re not big on spraying stuff (even if it’s harmless–we’re also cheap and lazy), so next summer season we’ll search out varieties resistant to mildew. For those of you who are also cursed by mildew, here’s a list from the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension (PDF) of mildew resistant squash and pumpkin varieties.

So now, dear readers, please tell us what the hell are you doing with all that squash you grew this summer . . .

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22 Comments

  1. Two things, and one is really predictable, sort of. http://www.101cookbooks.com/ has a great recipe for a very unusual zucchini bread. It uses up a fair bit of the stuff. And Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian has a good recipe for Korean vegetable pancakes which is easily adapted to include a fair amount of shredded zucchini. Other than that, I shredded the stuff and froze it. My zucchini is done for the summer, thank god.

    -Kate

  2. we have the mildew problem too. good to know that there are resistant varieties.

    as for using up zucchini we make lots of zucchini frittatas which are suprisingly delicious and moist because of the zucchini.

    i also discussed some of the options on my blog recently although we aren’t actually suffering from a surplus at this moment.

    http://swampyankeesfromouterspace.blogspot.com

  3. Zuccini (and summer squash) can be grated into a variety of baked goods – it adds moistness and is especially good in things like spice cakes, brownies etc.

    One of my favorite ways to eat zuccini and summer squash is to layer the top of my steamer with some fresh rosemary sprigs, slice up the squash into coins and steam. The rosemary infuses the squash and it is great straight out of the steamer or I store it in the fridge and use it on top of salads.

  4. I’m in Seattle. Sadly, we have very little zucchini this year. I would be making muffins, bread, relish, and stir fry. And freezing it grated with my Food Saver. Alas.

  5. We had a good thing going with our Crookneck Squash until the vine borers got ours too. We’ve been cursed with the powdery mildew on our squash, pumpkins and an apple tree. Thankfully the apple tree responds well to a weekly spraying of sulfer but we’ll have to try some of these cucurbits next year.

    Willi Galloway has a great recipe for summer squash risotto on her blog that I would have loved to have tried.

  6. Give that zucchini away! People love to get stuff out of someone’s garden. I take my extra to work, to bbqs, to softball games . . . Everyone loves it.

  7. Dehydrating. I just got a dehydrator late last year (on sale, since harvest season was pretty much over) and have been drying summer squash and string beans, as well as herbs. In this maritime climate, nothing ever dried in the sun, so I went with the machine. Don’t know how the rehydrated product will taste, but we’ll find out this winter.

  8. Cookies! We just hid 3 oversized zukes in a double batch of chocolate chip zucchini cookies. My family devoured them in two days. The recipe can be found on Barbara Kingsolver’s site: http://animalvegetablemiracle.com/Recipes.html

    I grew a nice Italian heirloom from Seed Savers this year called Costata Romanesque. By far the best tasting zuke I’ve grown. No problem with mildew, though we are in the San Fernando valley which is drier than where you are.

  9. no zucchini here, just patty pan and yellow crookneck. i try to pick it with the bloom still on, and the add it to stuff like fritattas, veggie omelettes, and spanish rice (which i always fill with vegetables anyway). we are in south Orange County, 11 miles inland, and have noticed no mildew.

  10. I usually eat my squash when they are very small, so rarely have too many. I have seen this recipie for zucchini “milk” in various places around the internet, and it would be interesting to experiment with it…(I’m not vegan, but have a number of vegan friends)

    (Recipie from Cooks.com)

    ZUCCHINI MILK…
    Pare zucchini, remove seeds if large, cut into 1 inch chunks and process or blend. (Fill 1/4 full.) Blend until liquid is thick and white.
    Two small zucchini (10 ounces pared) equals approximately 1 cup “milk”. Freeze and use as milk substitute in bread, meat loaf, biscuits, etc.

  11. I just had this problem last night and here’s how I solved 2 problems: cherry tomatoes and zucchini

    Sautee on medium high heat enough cherry tomatoes and a heavy pinch of salt to almost cover the bottom of a 10 inch skillet (usually a bit more than a pint- more if you want it saucy). cook those babies until they burst. While they’re cooking, slice zucchinis into half-moons about 3/4 of an inch thick. When most of the cherry tomatoes have burst, throw in the zukes and toss them around with the cherry tomato goodness. Drop heat to medium and stir occasionally until the zucchini is at the texture you like, I usually cook mine about 4 minutes.

    Plate and serve with fresh torn basil leaves, and parm or motz if you have it. If you don’t, it’s still great.

  12. I cut our zucchini into coins and fry them with a tiny bit of butter & salt ’til they are golden. Zucchini quiche is also great with tomato reslish on the side.

  13. I recently found myself overwhelmed by the amount of squash growing in my garden. My solution: vegetarian lasagna! It turned out amazing and I was able to use a very large amount of my garden veggies up in the recipe. Just look up a simple lasagna recipe and make a giant batch to feed the family and friends.

  14. Gazpacho! Stir fry 3-4 cups of squash cut large in a little oil with onions and a jalapeno on the side. Blend these with a tray of ice cubes and 2 or 3 cucumbers. Really refreshing on a hot summer evening!

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