September 8, 2009

Too much of a good thing? *

If you're like me, you enjoy using different recipes for the same thing and never making the same dinner twice. I make a different pie crust almost every time I make a pie - which is pretty often. I also always seem to try totally new (and sometimes) challenging things when I've invited people for dinner. So it's never dull in my kitchen.

But sometimes when the summer nears the end and the veggies just keep on coming, I find myself getting tired of always coming up with new ways to use that yellow squash that never stops. This post is about some of the more successful ways I've used the surplus of produce this summer--dishes that I may just have to repeat next year.

1. Squash

yellow squash soup with shrimp, basil and creme fraiche

This soup was light and easy to make. It starts with sautéeing onions and yellow squash with thyme until soft, then adding vegetable broth, puréeing it, and adding a dollop of heavy cream at the end to give it balance. I sautéed the shrimp separately in olive oil and chile flakes just until done and added them to the soup with fresh basil and a drizzle of sour cream or creme fraiche before serving. Super easy and super fresh.

2. Corn

tomato and corn salad

I got tired this summer of eating corn on the cob so I started grilling or boiling it and and adding it to salads and slaws for extra crunch and sweetness. In this particular salad, I cut the corn off first and sautéed it in butter for just a few minutes before adding it to the tomatoes. A revelation. Corn does not have to be boiled! It was the perfect complement to this sausage and pepper sandwich. For another great summer salad recipe with corn, see my "farmer's salad" from an earlier post.

3. Potatoes

tortilla española

This is by far my favorite way to use potatoes in the summer. I learned how to make it while traveling in Spain when the gardener at the house where we stayed would bring potatoes and huge yellow onions in from the garden each day expecting us to know what to do with them. I learned quickly that this is the classic combination of these two ingredients and I never got tired of eating it. It's just a fritatta really, but the key is slicing the onions and the potatoes thinly and frying them first before adding the lightly beaten eggs. If you use a large skillet it can be inverted onto a plate pretty easily and then cut into pie-like wedges. In Spain they serve it cold or room temperature, drizzled with a good olive oil or dolloped with a dill sour cream. Serve alongside a simple green salad for the perfect summer lunch.

4. Peppers

pickled peppers with shallots and thyme

I found this recipe by Molly Wizenberg in bon appetit and loved the sound of it. I had a bunch of different kinds of peppers that made it really colorful. I really got into the canning this year and 'put up' 4 jars of of these peppers as well as a couple of jars of sweet pickles. I haven't tried these peppers yet, but I look forward to opening them up in the middle of winter for a fresh taste of summer veg!

**If you have a garden or joined a CSA this year, what are some of your favorite ways to use extra produce?

* This is my 101st post! (too much of a good thing?)


  1. It's true--at this time of the year the glut sets in---but before too long, we'll be missing the wonders of tomatoes and such. Right now, your tortilla espanola is speaking to me!

  2. i've never thought squash and shrimp would go together in a soup like that! you've made it look oh so yummy. and for that soup, i would work out extra long for the heavy cream ; )

  3. you are amazing, Joy. So many ideas and so much dedication to learning new things!!

  4. Nancy- I know! I am already getting nostalgic for tomaotes...

    Randi- it would be good without the cream but not *as* good :-)

    Silvia- thanks, girl! Hope you're well.