When it comes eating seasonally, summer squash tends to take a back seat to more flavorful fruits and veggies. At least in my kitchen it does. That’s why I’ve been making more of an effort to include it in my cooking. Whether I’m whipping up a batch of ratatouille or assembling kebobs to throw on the grill, summer squash is slowly working its way onto my list of favorite veggies. After all, they’re super easy to grow and almost always make an appearance in CSA boxes this time of year.
The basic summer squashes are yellow (crookneck or straightneck), zucchini (green or yellow, long or round), and pattypan (scallop). Because summer squash is largely made of water, it doesn’t require much cooking. Raw, summer squash adds a pleasant texture to salads and a colorful addition to veggie trays. Best of all, summer squash is loaded with fiber and is a fantastic source of vitamins A and C. This makes it a terrific addition to your vegan meal plan. I suggest loading up while it’s still in season!
Below are two of my favorite vegan summer squash recipes that really highlight the flavors of the season.
Summer Squash Risotto with Fresh Garlic, Petite Peas & Basil
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- ½ cup Vidalia onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, or 1 stalk fresh garlic, finely minced
- ¼ cup white wine
- 4-5 cups organic vegetable broth
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 2 medium yellow squash
- ½ cup frozen, thawed petite peas
- ¼ cup fresh basil, julienned
- 1 tbsp. vegan margarine (Earth Balance)
- Freshly ground pepper
- Wash squash & cut into ½ moons about a ½ inch thick. Set aside.
- In a large, heavy saucepan or Dutch oven, heat olive oil, & add onion & garlic. Sauté for 3-5 minutes over medium heat.
- Stir in the rice, & cook 2 minutes until opaque. Add wine & stir until absorbed.
- Ladle broth into rice, one ladleful at a time, stirring frequently over medium heat, after each addition. Wait until broth is almost completely absorbed before adding more.
- After about 15 minutes, add squash & peas. Continue stirring & adding broth until the vegetables are tender & the rice is al dente but looks creamy, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat; add fresh basil, margarine & stir. Season with fresh black pepper & garnish with more fresh basil. For a little extra brightness, top each dish with fresh lemon zest.
Vegan Zucchini Gratin
From: Dreamy Leaf
- 6 medium zucchinis, thinly sliced
- 1 cup water
- ¾ cup raw cashews (soaked overnight, drained and rinsed)
- 2 tbsp. nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- ½ tsp. onion powder
- ¼ tsp. black pepper
- Salt, as needed
- 1 tbsp. sesame seeds
- 1 tbsp. thyme
- Put all the ingredients in the blender, except the zucchinis and the toppings, and blend until you get a smooth batter.
- In a bowl, soak the zucchini slices in the batter for a few minutes.
- Tile the zucchinis in a baking pan (or an iron cast pan as I used). Pour the remaining batter over the zucchinis.
- Bake for 30 minutes in an oven preheated to 400F.
- Add the toppings and enjoy.