summer squashDebMorrisBy Deb Morris

The grill is fired up, the kids are out of school, the smell of freshly-cut grass floats in the air, and the splash of the sprinklers can be heard. The weather is perfect for grilling fresh summer vegetables. Summer squash tops the list of easy-to-prepare and good-for-you summer fare.

A very prolific vegetable, summer squash is a soft-shelled squash with thin edible skins and edible seeds, as compared to the hard-shelled winter squash with inedible skin. It has a tender flesh that requires only a short cooking time. Available at your farmers’ market now through August or September, squash is very low in calories, high in vitamin C and high in fiber. Summer squash is picked immature while it is still tender and generally eaten within a short period of time.

At your farmers’ market, stop by Bautista Ranch from Stockton, Tu Universo Organics from Watsonville, FT Fresh from Fresno, and others. Vidal Navarro of Bautista says, “At the core of our farm lies the commitment to producing the best produce we can.” Other small farms take the same stance and are also doing their best to bring you fabulous fresh summer squash.

Pattypans, zucchini, globe, crookneck, Italian, and other squashes are available now. They are low in calories and have substantial vitamin, mineral, and fiber content. All have mild flavors that go well with almost anything.

Simple Grilled Summer Squash

2 zucchini, cut into 2 inch chunks

2 yellow squash, cut into 2-inch chunks

1 large onion, cut into chunks

2 small Yukon Gold potatoes, cut into chunks (optional)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

Salt and pepper

In a bowl,  toss all the vegetables with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper. Pour onto large piece of aluminum foil and fold foil around vegetables into a packet. Cook on the grill for about 10 to 12 minutes.

Recipe: PCFMA Staff