2015-09-11 / Columns

Cooking on Purpose

Put some summer squash on your table
By Connie Wendell Special to the Post

Summer squash is very plentiful right now. There is an abundance in backyard gardens and the farmers markets.

It’s absolutely fabulous just steamed and served as a side vegetable. It’s also so versatile that it’s great in a variety of recipes.

I like to try new ones each year as I utilize my bounty of summer squash. Summer squash, bacon and mozzarella quiche

Pastry crust; 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil; 2 cups (1/8-inch-thick) slices yellow squash; 2 cups (1/8-inch-thick) slices zucchini; ¼ cup chopped shallots; 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme; 1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk; ¾ teaspoon salt; ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; 4 slices center cut bacon, cooked and crumbled; 3 large egg whites; 3 large eggs; and ¾ cup (3 ounces) shredded mozzarella cheese.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add squash, zucchini, shallots and thyme, sauté for five minutes or until squash and zucchini are tender, stirring frequently.

Cool the mixture slightly.

Combine milk, salt, pepper, bacon, egg whites and eggs in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.

Arrange squash mixture evenly over prepared crust and sprinkle with cheese. Pour the egg mixture over cheese.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes or until filling is set. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack.

Zucchini pineapple quick bread

3 cups sifted all-purpose flour; 1 teaspoon salt; 1 teaspoon baking soda; ½ teaspoon baking powder; 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon; 4 large eggs; 2 cups sugar; 2 cups grated zucchini (about ½ medium); 2/3 cup canola oil; 2 large eggs; 2 teaspoons vanilla extract; and 2 (8 ounce) cans crushed pineapple in juice, drained; baking spray with flour.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Beat eggs with a mixer at medium speed until foamy.

Add sugar, zucchini, oil and vanilla, beating until well blended. Add zucchini mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Fold in pineapple. Spoon batter into 2 (9 X 5-inch) loaf pans coated with baking spray. Bake at 325 degrees for one hour or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in pans on wire rack; remove from pans. Cool completely on wire racks.

Garden minestrone

2 teaspoons olive oil; 1 cup chopped onion; 2 teaspoons chopped fresh oregano; 4 garlic cloves, minced; 3 cups chopped yellow squash; 3 cups chopped zucchini; 1 cup chopped carrot; 1 cup fresh corn kernel (about 2 ears); 4 cups chopped tomato, divided; 3 (14 ounce) cans fat-free, less sodium chicken broth, divided; ½ cup uncooked ditalini pasta; 1 (15.5 ounce) can great northern beans, rinsed and drained; 1 (6 ounce) package fresh baby spinach; ¾ teaspoon salt; ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper; and 1 cup (4 ounces) Asiago cheese.

Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until softened. Add oregano and garlic; sauté 1 minute.

Stir in squash, zucchini, carrot and corn; sauté five minutes or until vegetables are tender. Remove from heat.

Place 3 cups tomato and 1 can broth in a blender; process until smooth. Add tomato mixture to pan; return pan to heat.

Stir in remaining 1 cup tomato and remaining 2 cans broth; bring mixture to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add pasta and beans to pan; cook 10 minutes or until pasta is tender, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat. Stir in spinach, salt and pepper. Ladle soup into individual bowls; top with cheese.

Enjoy these great recipes using summer squash, and until next time keep Cooking on Purpose.

Connie Wendell can be reached at conniewendell27@gmail.com.

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