Local Summer Squash

Summer squash is here! Not yet in our local gardens (not mine anyway), but available at the supermarkets. Ontario summer squashes, both yellow and green (zucchini) are on sale at No Frills this week for $1/lb.
I love to grill summer squash, simply slicing it lengthwise, coating it with a little olive oil and salt. It is also wonderful steamed. I have not been a big fan of eating it raw, though I do put it in salads from time to time. My wife and I were talking about things to do with summer squash, and she came up with this recipe. The only suggestion I made was to parboil the chopped zucchini, which sweetens it and, to my taste, makes it more palatable than it would be raw, while still retaining some crunch.

Bean and Zucchini Salad

Ingredients:

2 medium zucchinis

1 can beans (white, garbanzo, etc.)

1/2 medium sweet onion, or 2 scallions (or a bunch of chives)

1/2 sweet red pepper

1-2 tablespoons lemon juice (or substitute vinegar)

Salt and black pepper to taste

Put a large pot of water on to boil, and cut the zucchinis into small chunks. Meanwhile, slice the onion or scallion and red pepper. Drop the zucchini chunks into the boiling water, and let them cook for about 30 seconds to a minute, then scoop them out with a sieve or slotted spoon. Allow to drain in a colander or sieve. Put in the fridge to cool them down a bit. Drain the beans, then mix all ingredients together, and adjust the seasonings to your taste.

Variations: My wife thinks that the canned beans were not chewy enough (we used Cannellinis), and I suggested cooking our own would give us a nicer texture. I also think this salad would be great with quinoa instead of beans.

Another favorite around our house recently has been roasted zucchini lasagna. If you have not tried it, amazing how good this is, even if you are not looking for gluten free or low-carb alternatives. You can use your favorite lasagna recipe, but substitute zucchini or yellow squash cut into strips, then grilled and dried out, for the noodles. Enjoy!

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