Talk to any experienced gardener and they will tell you that if you plant summer squash you will likely never starve. So now the trick is to figure out what to do with all of them. I’m here to help.
One of the other things every gardener knows is that summer squashes like zucchini have a tendency of ballooning in size, seemingly in minutes. It’s okay, they are still as good as their smaller counterparts. You just cook them in much the same way as winter squash, scraping out the seeds and usually not eating the skin as they are tough.
Summer squashes tend to be more mild in flavor than the firmer winter squashes so they like a bit of dressing up with stronger flavors. I’m a firm believer that foods from the same season taste best together, how convenient that tomatoes and basil are available from the garden at the same time as the squashes.
In the end the mix of ripe tomatoes, sweet basil, spicy garlic, buttery pine nuts, a healthy glug of extra virgin olive oil, and a topping of freshly grated parmesan cheese nestled into the roasted cavity of your choice of summer squash creates a pesto like flavor that perks up the otherwise mellow flavor of the squash. And all this loveliness requires no measuring! Even better.
Tomato Stuffed Summer Squash Recipe
- Summer Squashes like zucchini and crookneck, cut in half lengthwise, seeds scraped out
- Fresh tomatoes, cut into small pieces
- Finely chopped garlic
- Thinly sliced sweet basil leaves
- Pine nuts
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Salt, to taste
- Grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400 F. Lay the squash halves on a shallow baking sheet, baste the flesh with olive oil and lightly sprinkle with salt.
Put tomatoes, garlic, basil, and pine nuts in a bowl. The amount you use will be dependent on how much squash you are working with and your personal taste. I had the equivalent of 6 medium tomatoes and used 4 large cloves of garlic, about 1/2 cup of sliced basil, a couple of tablespoons of pine nuts, and about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Sprinkle the tomato mix with a little salt, and gently toss everything together to combine.
Fill the cavities of the squash with the tomato mix. Make sure the squash halves are arranged so they will be level when filled with the mixture. Don’t overfill the cavities, otherwise the juices will just spill out and burn on the pan.
Put the pan in the oven and roast for 30-40 minutes or until the squash can be easily pierced with a fork. Once the squash is done, remove from the oven, grate some parmesan cheese over and allow to melt slightly before serving. Make again and again and again. Because you will want to!