Don’t put 2 teaspoons of salt in the Deep Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake and please don’t worry that something was left out. That was a hiccup. Also, that nice Janine Pineo stepped up to say that it was she who first put that wonderful cake in this paper several years ago. She wrote, “Every year I have an excess of summer squash, I usually stick in a recipe or two for using it when I put in my August gardening column.” She found the recipe originally in “The Classic Zucchini Cookbook” by Nancy C. Ralston, Marynor Jordan and Andrea Chesman. “I tweaked a couple of ingredients, but it is pretty close to their original.” So that settles that.
She went on to tell about another squash recipe she tried recently from the book. Her Scalloped Squash sounded good to me particularly because even though we have only three summer squash plants, one zucchini, one crookneck and one pattypan, there are times when those darn squashes just get ahead of me, and this week was one of those times. I made ratatouille and curried squash soup, and still I had squashes. I also had corn. And as much as I would dearly love to get tired of eating corn, it hasn’t happened yet, though we can’t keep pace with its ripening sometimes. I freeze copious amounts of it and still look for ways to use it up.
I fiddled with that squash recipe to see if I couldn’t weasel some corn into it. And even though the original recipe called for cheddar cheese, provolone is what I had because summer neighbors of ours dropped off a few fine comestibles with us when they went back home. When I was done the recipe really didn’t resemble Janine’s but, oh, well. You might like to try it and feel free to substitute, too. No matter what you do you can really work your way through a fair amount of summer squash, and because of the cheese, this makes a very nice main dish with salad and bread, or a nice side for a simple piece of fish or grilled breast of chicken.
Another way to go is merely to make a cheesy sauce as you would for macaroni and cheese and layer the squash with corn, your herbs and seasonings, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, pour the sauce on it, top with bread crumbs and bake it. The vegetables take well to dill, parsley, scallions, or even a few chopped hot peppers, not to mention the corn. I used cilantro, cumin, hot peppers and garlic in mine.
Scalloped Summer Squash and Corn
Makes 6 servings.
2 medium zucchini
2 medium yellow squashes
2 ears of corn, cut from cob
Minced herbs of your choice, onions, or chopped hot peppers (optional)
3-4 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1 cup grated cheese
Buttered bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 9-by-13 baking dish. Put in a layer of squash, overlapping the squash somewhat, sprinkle on corn, herbs or seasonings, a little of the cheese and the flour. Top with another layer of squash and corn, pour on the milk, sprinkle on the rest of the cheese and top with bread crumbs. Bake for 50 minutes or until the squash is tender and the top is golden brown.