Summer squashes are picked before they’re mature. The rind is thin and edible, and you can also eat the seeds. But summer squashes can’t be stored like winter squashes.
Some summer squashes in the U.S. are:
INFORMATION BELOW FROM 1800s COOKBOOKS:
SUMMER SQUASH is a fruit vegetable belonging to the same class as eggplant, peppers, etc. and occurring in many varieties. The different kinds of this vegetable vary greatly in size, shape, and color, but all of them may be prepared in practically the same way and used for the same purposes. They get their name from the fact that they are grown and used during the summer season; in fact, they must be used at this time, for they do not permit of storage.
Summer squash contains a great deal of water, and for this reason, its food value is very low, being about equal to that of lettuce, celery, etc. Because of the large percentage of water in its composition, as little water as possible should be added in its cooking, or the result will be a vegetable so watery as to be unattractive and unpalatable.
STEWED SUMMER SQUASH
Wash and peel the desired number of summer squashes and cut into small pieces. Put over the flame in just enough water to start the cooking and add sufficient salt to season well. Cook until tender enough to be pierced with a fork and most of the water is boiled away, being careful not to scorch. Remove from the fire, season with pepper, and add one tablespoon of butter for each four persons to be served. Mash until the squash is as fine as desired and serve at once.
FRIED SUMMER SQUASH
Wash a summer squash. Cut it in three-fourth inch thick slices (do not remove the skin or the seeds.) Dip each slice in flour. In a frying pan, put some fat and heat it. Add the squash and cook each slice on both sides until golden brown in color. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Then place a cover over the frying pan and continue to cook the squash until it is tender. Serve at once.
SAUTÉD SUMMER SQUASH
For variety, summer squash is sometimes sliced, coated with egg and crumbs, and then sautéd until well browned. To prepare it in this way, wash and peel the squash and cut it into slices about one-fourth inch thick. Roll first in beaten egg diluted with milk or water and then in fine crumbs. Sauté in a small amount of fat in a frying pan until well browned, and then turn and brown on the other side. Serve hot.
Take one and one-half cups of prepared squash pulp, one and one-half teaspoons salt, one teaspoon paprika, two tablespoons finely minced parsley, and two tablespoons finely minced onions. Mix thoroughly and then dice two ounces of salt pork. Brown the salt pork nicely and drain off about one-half of the fat in the pan. Pour the squash mixture over the salt pork and heat and serve.
SQUASH GRIDDLE CAKES
Take one-pint flour, nearly a pint of milk, two eggs, one teaspoon cream of tartar, half as much soda, four tablespoons sugar, one teaspoon salt, and two cups of sifted squash. Mix the flour with the other dry ingredients, and rub through a sieve. Beat the eggs well, add them and the milk to the squash, and pour on the flour. Beat till smooth and light. This gives a thin batter. If the cakes are liked thick, a little more flour may be used. Fry as usual.
BAKED SQUASH WITH CELERY STUFFING
With such summer squashes as are of the right shape to bake, the greater part of the inside may be scraped out, chopped and put in with the dressing. Make a thick sauce of rich milk and browned flour. Add to it chopped onion, minced garlic if liked, a few coarse bread crumbs and a large quantity of finely sliced celery. Fill the squash, sprinkle with crumbs, and cover with slices of tomato from which the seeds have been removed, or with pieces of canned tomato. Nuts may be used with this also. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and bake covered until time to brown over the top.