We interrupt the Leafy Greens articles to bring you a special announcement!
It is that time of year folks when people are putting their extra zucchini squash in unlocked cars. They are putting squash on your porch, ringing your door bell and running!
Summer squash season used to be a difficult time of the year for us too. Our customers would get tired of the squash, and we would have tons to get rid of. I hated to feed perfectly good food to the pigs and chickens but what else could we do with 200# of squash that nobody would buy.
I now have the perfect solution to the squash quandary. We have discovered that we can slice, fry and freeze the squash for an amazing meal in the winter. We slice the squash into coins, fry it in the skillet in lard, chicken fat or olive oil like hash browns until they are golden brown.
A few years back I froze a batch of fried summer squash and then rewarmed it in the winter. Wow, it was just as good as the batch was in the summer. We have tried to freeze the squash the traditional sliced and blanched squash way; but the boys in the family just didn’t care to much for the reboiled squash. I was not the biggest fan of it either so we didn’t freeze much. With this new way of frying it first and then freezing it is the way to go, yum! This has become one of our favorite dishes all year round.
I cook a double batch each time in the summer. When you fry the squash it shrinks down to about 1/3 the size it was when you started. This saves room in the freezer. You can get way more squash in the freezer this way. To make it even simpler I take the leftovers from dinner and bag them and put them in the freezer.
Once we eliminated all the grains from our diet there was a void on our dinner plates. To just add another vegetable was very unsatisfying. I found that the fried squash satisfied our craving for a starchy item on our plates. It is filling and satisfies that need for a grain, noodle or bread.
To the fried squash you can add other chopped vegetables and spices to make amazing dishes. Try Pizza Squash. Add all the toppings for pizza ( except the cheese) and the pizza spices and you have a great meal. Or add taco spices and ingredients and you now have a Mexican meal. How great is fried squash!
I typically will cook up 10 pounds at a time. We eat half and freeze half. We will eat this 2 times a week in various combinations. Did I tell you it is great for breakfast with some sautéed greens and bacon? Each week we eat an average of 10 pounds of squash that equates to over 500 pounds a year.
So all you crazy stash and dash squash people bring it on! We can hardly get enough!
This is the time of year to let people and farmers know that you want all the excess squash. More than likely they will just give it to you. I think you will love this addition to your family meals and you can look forward to summer squash season!
Here is my recipe and pictures for making the fried squash.
Fried Summer Squash
5 # of summer squash green or yellow
½ cup Lard, chicken fat or olive oil
Directions: Cut the squash into very thin 1/8 to ¼ inch slices.
Place fat or oil in a frying skillet and cook on 350 deg F. Place the squash in the hot oil, piling up the skillet until it is almost full. Cook the squash on high. Salt to taste. I put on about 2 teaspoons. The squash will get watery as the juices come out, keep cooking until all the juice is evaporated. Turn the squash every 5 minutes to keep from burning it.
It takes about 45 minutes to completely cook the squash. The browner it gets the more it tastes like hash browns. I cook mine until most if it has some brown on it. The squash will take up about 1/3 the pan when cooked down this much. You can eat it at any level of brownness.
When you are satisfied with how brown the squash is you can eat it, add other ingredients or spices or cool it down to put in the freezer. To go into the freezer put the squash in a freezer bag and squeeze out all the air before sealing. Write the date and contents on the bag and lay it flat in the freezer to freeze. Eat it within a year for the best taste.