The farmers market is full of all sorts of fun looking summer squash, beyond the standard green zucchini and yellow crookneck in most supermarkets. Summer squash comes in a variety of shapes and colors: from long and thin yellow zucchinis and striped cocozelle di napoli, Summer squash is also a good source of Vitamin C (particularly their precious blossoms), and various carotenoids, like alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, which are powerful anti-oxidants. When young, the squash is tender enough to eat raw, and as they grow bigger, still remain tender and will steam quickly, or are great in quick easy sautés and summer stews like ratatouille and flavorful curried vegetable dishes.
Mixed Summer Squash Sautéed with Bacon, Artichokes and Mint
Here is a smoky delicious saute that uses bacon to jazz up the flavor of the squash.
Cut bacon slices into 1/2 inch pieces and place into unheated deep skillet. Turn heat to medium-high heat, and cook, stirring often, until crisp, about 6-8 minutes. Remove bacon to plate covered with paper towels. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons of bacon fat.
Add onion, cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, stir and cook about 30 seconds.
Add squash to pan, cook uncovered until squash is just softening, about 5 minutes. Add artichoke hearts or bottoms, mint and rosemary. Cook until artichokes are heated, about 3 minutes.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and cook about 5 more minutes or until squash is tender but still firm.
Serve warm. (Optional: stir in a tablespoon of cream or crème fraîche just before serving).