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Thursday, July 9, 2009

A new recipe for summer squash

Squash may be the most prolific vegetable in a summer garden.

Gardeners who grow squash always seem to have a bumper crop, always more than they can eat and usually more than they can give away.

My inlaws are in that predicament right now, so when they visited they brought with them two heaping bags full of yellow squash. (I'm just glad they didn't bring a kitten, They've got too many of those, too -- six, in fact -- and they can't give them away either.)

Anyway, back to squash.

We love squash, and I usually saute it in a little olive oil or butter and season it with salt and pepper or soy sauce if I'm craving a little Asian flavor. I've also made squash casseroles and squash fritters, a nod to my southern heritage

But last night, I decided to try something different.

I cut the squash into cubes and sauteed in some olive oil with a couple of cloves of fresh garlic. I cooked the squash until it was crisp-tender, then added it to some cooked orzo pasta. To finish the dish, I drizzled on some olive oil, mixed in some feta cheese and tossed. Then it went into the fridge for a couple of hours to cool and so the flavors could marry.

Well, let me tell you, this simple and simple-t0-make dish was a huge hit. Everybody liked it, and some even went back for seconds.

I've had orzo pasta hanging out in my cabinet for months, but until I started the Grocery Free Challenge and cooking from my stockpile, it's never been on the menu. (If you're unfamiliar, orzo is a small, grain-like pasta. Kinda looks like rice on steroids.)

When I allow myself to go grocery shopping again, I'm definitely going to buy more orzo pasta. It's going to become a pantry staple because it's so versatile. I'm thinking orzo would be fabulous with fresh mozzarella, ripe tomatoes, olive oil and balsamic. Call it Caprese alla Orzo.

Or what about serving the orzo warm with prosciutto and Parmesan? Or an Orzo BLT with spinach or arugula substituting for lettuce?

I'm officially hungry now. Off to have my leftover orzo and squash salad for lunch while I surf the Web for more orzo recipes.

3 comments:

  1. Count me among those who went back for seconds! Even my parents, who are often reluctant to try new things, thought the orzo squash salad was delicious.

    Amy served this dish chilled, which was great. But I'm thinking it would be good hot, too.

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  2. And I was all proud of myself for going grocery free for a week... I am impressed!

    Great job, Amy!

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  3. Don't be too impressed. The fact that we could go a month without grocery shopping proves that our stockpile was out of hand! I need to do better at cooking what I have on hand.

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