Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Just squash it.

Is it just us, or do we all have people throwing excess squash at us right now? Don't get me wrong...as opposed to the six bags of grapefruit we got this spring from our neighbors—there is only so much acid this tummy can take, people!—I am NOT complaining; I will always take veggies off your hands. (Hear that, Char? Where's my okra??)

Hubby's aunt brought over a bag of mixed summer squash last weekend, and as thrilled as I was, I really wanted to find a new way to cook them besides steaming. I assume this is a common 'problem,' as I found this little gem on Cooking Light under the topic "Help! I'm drowning in zucchini!" Heh. I actually used a variety of squash for this, including yellow and green patty-pan, yellow squash, and zucchini. I love basil, so I ended up using more than they recommended, and a bit more feta, as well. Whatever, it's low fat...just be careful which brand of feta you go with. I used Athenos, which was really good, but I've used other brands, and their low-fat versions are just plain gross. When it comes to cheese, if in doubt, go full-fat. Cause trust me, nobody wants to eat gross cheese. (In case you weren't sure.)

If you're not used to cooking with leeks, here are a couple quick tips: Make sure and wash it well, which is sometimes easier to do after you've sliced it (rinse well in a colander), since dirt gets way down in the crevices. You can also go ahead and use some of the dark part...there's no reason to just use the white base. Keep in mind that they're basically just enormous green onions.

Sauteed Summer Squash with Basil and Feta
4 cups squash, cut into large bite-sized chunks or slices
2 leeks, trimmed and thinly sliced
A little less than 1 tbsp canola oil
Pepper (I used white Kampot pepper, which gives a little kick)
About a 1/4 cup fat-free feta
handful of thinly sliced basil (1/4 cup or so)

In large saute pan, heat oil a minute or two until very hot. Add squash and leeks, and stir-fry about 5 minutes or until tender (bite one if you need to!). Turn off heat, and season with a large pinch each of pepper and salt to taste. Add basil and toss gently. Top with feta to serve.

Super easy, and went well with Spicy Turkey Meatloaf for a low-cal dinner.

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