It is official: fall is here. Garlic is in, potatoes are prominent on my dinner menu and winter squashes warm the house. So I was surprised and delighted when one of the farmers at the farmers market offered me two week old summer squashes for free. "Oh they have been sitting in the cooler for two weeks but I hate to see food go to waste." Um, yes please!
So last night I found myself wondering what to do with them. Some of you know me but those who don't I must admit there is only one way I like to eat summer squash: fried with breadcrumbs. And they must be made by my dad because no one else has ever made them so perfectly crispy without a trace of sogginess. That is really my problem with summer squash, its sogginess. Unless it is zucchini casserole (cooked in a shallow pan so it is soupy!) or zucchini bread/muffins, forget it. It just isn't my thing. I refuse, however, to turn down perfectly good, organic, free produce. And so Google and I spent a few moments together to help me find a way to use the last of summer's bounty.
I started looking for recipes but ended up just looking at images, which allowed me to skip past any slimy looking squash.
I found a couple of baked recipes with breadcrumbs and decided to just wing it. (I have been feeling so confident lately, why not. Although the baby crying for me to hurry up probably helped me just jump right in.)
Baked Summer Squash with Breadcrumbs
Enough organic summer squash to feed your group
minced organic garlic
toasted home made organic bread crumbs - you may use store bought Italian breadcrumbs and skip the salt, pepper and parsley
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese or other hard cheese, shredded
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Toast breadcrumbs in a pan.
3. Mix toasted bread crumbs with parsley, salt, pepper and cheese.
4. Cut summer squash.
5. Toss squash in oil and garlic.
6. Layer squash into pan. I staggered mine so that the air could move between them, keeping them from getting too mushy.
7. Top squash with crumb mixture.
8. Bake 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how crunchy and dry you want them. I baked them for 30 minutes but then reheated the leftover (below) and they came out crunchier.
The verdict? Fantastic! Seriously I really enjoyed it. When I was serving dinner, I forgot to take a picture, however after the kids went to bed, I was still a little peckish. While I picked up the kitchen, I put the pan back into the oven for 15 minutes or so and they browned and crisped right back up.
Yum! How are you using the last of summer's bounty?