Summer Squash

Summer Squash

Summer squashes like squashes that are harvested when the skin is still tender and edible. They can be eaten raw, but they're more often sauteed, roasted, or grilled before serving.


After harvesting or purchasing, refrigerate them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator, and plan to use them within a week.


Varieties:

chayote
chayote
This mild-flavored squash looks like a wrinkled, pale green pear. It needs to be cooked before serving, and for a longer time than other summer squash. You should peel a chayote before cooking it, but don't take the seed out--it's edible and tasty. Cooked chayotes make good low-fat substitutes for avocados.
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globe squash
globe squash
You can stuff these and bake them, or slice and sauté them.
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pattypan squash
pattypan squash
These have a pleasant, nutty flavor. They're small enough to grill whole, but lots of recipes call for them to be hollowed out, stuffed, and baked. There are green and yellow varieties; yellow ones are sometimes called sunburst squash.
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scallopini
scallopini
This is like a pattypan squash, only it's greener and rounder.
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summer squash
summer squash
Unlike winter squash, summer squash can be eaten rind, seeds, and all. The different varieties vary in size, shape, and color, but they can be used interchangeably in recipes. Select summer squash that are small and firm.
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tatume squash
tatume squash
This Mexican variety looks like a pale zucchini, but it's a tad sweeter.
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yellow squash
yellow squash
This category includes yellow straight-neck squash and yellow crookneck squash. They're interchangeable with zucchini.
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zucchini
zucchini
America's most popular summer squash, zucchini can be served raw, sautéed, baked, grilled, and even shredded and baked in a cake. Green zucchini is the most popular, but some grocers also carry a bright yellow variety. There's also a globe-shaped round zucchini that's easy to stuff.
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