Thursday, August 09, 2007

Easy Recipe for Roasted Baby Summer Squash with Feta and Thyme

Roasted Baby Summer SquashOne of the wonderful things about having summer squash in your vegetable garden is that soon you'll have so many you feel perfectly justified in picking them when they're tiny, similar to the baby squash you get in the fanciest of restaurants. If you don't have a garden, or don't have that much of a squash surplus, not to worry; you can still make this recipe with larger squash that are cut in strips. Why is Kalyn roasting squash in the middle of the summer? Roasting concentrates the flavor in vegetables in the most lovely way. I cooked this in my counter-top toaster oven so it didn't heat up the house, but you could cook the squash on the grill if you don't have a toaster oven.

I'm not sure if I've ever written about summer squash before for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted this week by the talented Melissa from Cooking Diva, but it's something I've enjoyed growing for many years. Wikipedia on summer squash tells us it's the softer skins that distinguish summer squash from winter squash, which means they can't be stored through the winter. Summer squash is notoriously easy to grow, although there are a few pests that destroy them. There are many types of summer squash, and all are grown on bushy plants rather than vines. Most sources agree that summer squash can be used interchangeably in recipes. If you're only familiar with green zucchini (called courgettes in many parts of the world) try some of the other varieties like Patty Pan Squash, Eight Ball Zucchini, or Golden Zucchini. This combination of squash with feta and thyme came from a recipe I saw on Superspark for Patty Pan Squash with Thyme and Feta, and it was as delicious as I'd imagined it would be. Even better, with only five main ingredients, this recipe is easy enough to be added to Easy South Beach Recipes, the most popular category in my archives.

While oven preheats, toss squash with a bit of olive oil, white balsamic vinegar, and fresh thyme leaves and arrange on roasting pan in a single layer.

Roast about 30 minutes until squash are starting to get nicely browned on the edges and are softened but not mushy.

Roasted Baby Summer Squash with Feta and Thyme
(Makes 3-4 servings, recipe adapted from Superspark.)

8 baby summer squash, preferably a mixture of yellow squash and zucchini (use 4 medium sized ones if you don't have access to baby squash)
1-2 T olive oil, enough to coat squash
1 T white balsamic vinegar (I used white balsamic to not change the squash color, but regular balsamic would also work)
1/4 C fresh thyme leaves
1/2 C crumbled Feta (I used my favorite Feta)
salt and fresh ground pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 F. Wash squash well and dry. If you have baby squash, cut lengthwise into two pieces. If you have large squash, cut lengthwise into four pieces, then cut away the seed part of each piece and cut into pieces about 3-4 inches long.

In plastic bowl, toss squash with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, thyme leaves, salt, and pepper. Arrange on roasting pan.

Roast squash 25-30 minutes, until edges are starting to get quite brown and squash is tender. Remove squash from oven, put back into plastic bowl and toss with feta, fresh ground pepper to taste and salt if desired. (It won't need much salt because Feta cheese is salty.) Serve hot.

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South Beach Suggestions:

This would be a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. For phase one this would taste great with Pan-Grilled Steak with Olive Sauce or Grilled Chicken with Balsamic Vinegar and Arugula Salad with Marinated Artichokes and More. For phase two or three you could replace the salad with something like Lake Powell Spicy Rice.

More Tasty Recipes for Roasted Summer Squash
(Recipes from other blogs may or may not be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
How to Grill Zucchini
Roasted Squash with Garlic
Roasted Zucchini with Garlic from Simply Recipes
Roasted Zucchini with Lemons from A Veggie Venture
Roasted Zucchini from Exploring the Silver Spoon
Oven-Roasted Ratatouille from Chocolate and Zucchini
Roasted Ratatouille from Fat Free Vegan Kitchen
Pesto Zucchini Tomato Gratin from Karina's Kitchen
Summer Squash Tomato Pesto Gratin from Supersparkcounter customizable free hitcounter customizable free hit


Valli said...

A delicious way to serve squash. Some of my favourite flavours with feta and thyme!!!

Lydia said...

Another great idea for the bounty of summer squash that's now starting to appear on my porch via well-meaning gardening friends!

Maria said...

Yum!! Feta and Thyme, what great flavors for the squash!!

Kelly Mahoney said...

Wow, amazing dish, AND it's super simple too! My favorite kind.

Katerina said...

Wow, great minds think alike I just posted about summer squash too. It is so fabulous this time of year. I love teh addition of crumbled feta.

Kevin said...

That looks tasty and really easy to make.

CookingDiva - Chef Melissa said...

Gracias Kalyn! I just love baby squash---what a delicious idea to add feta. I prepare zucchini muffins with feta or parmesan, eggs, bacon and a little garlic sometimes. Since it has no flour it is perfect for low carb diets :D

Amy said...

I love roasted squash! This looks delicious! It's great that you can just pick them from your garden. :)

Kalyn said...

I'm so glad people like the sound of this recipe. Sometimes I wonder if my "what I made out of my garden veggies" style of cooking is just boring for people who don't have a garden. This would be truly delicious with fresh zucchini and summer squash no matter how you get them!

Emily said...

Thanks for the shout out, Kalyn! Glad you enjoyed the recipe!

Merisi said...

This recipe sure is another winner, I got hungry reading it!
When my mum started complaining about the zucchini crop taking over the garden, I suggested she use them while still in their toddler stage. No more monster zucchini in her garden. :-)

cookiecrumb said...

That's a nice treatment (and infinitely variable).
Oh! You just reminded me, I better go out and see how big the zukes grew overnight. :D

katiez said...

Always, always, always can use more courgette recipes. This one looks yummy - I'll probably wait a few weeks and do it in my oven...
And when I'm ready to pick the babies....

Mrs. L said...

This sounds wonderful and perfect for South Beach! I may have to extened Wednesdays zucchini day to zucchini week!

Kalyn said...

Emily, you're welcome. I loved it.

Merisi, I am all in favor of toddler zucchini.

CC, better keep an eye on them!

Katie, were you proud of me that I remembered to mention that they're called courgettes in Europe!

Mrs. L, I think I might be having zucchini month!

bea at la tartine gourmande said...

Oh zucchini, a blessing. I love them all, as you have seen on my pictures! I definitely need to grow them! Great recipe Kalyn!

Karina Allrich said...

Oh, yes. This looks especially tasty. And thanks for the link!

We've been grilling squash and onions and peppers on our panini sandwich grill outside [we still don't have an actual outdoor grill!]. It's a bit unconventional, but hey, it works. And it does leave those pretty grill marks. ;)



Simona said...

To answer your concern, Kalyn, I think that your 'what I made out of my garden veggie' is inspiring. Speaking for myself, it has cheered me up in the long weeks of waiting for my garden to come up with something. So yesterday I harvested the first pattypan squash and the first zucchina: nothing to show off as a proud parent, but quite satisfying. Last night I had roasted them together with some companions I bought at the farmers' market. No feta on them, just a mix of herbs from the garden, thyme included, like a sort of vegetable toast to you, your fabulous blog and your successful, almost 2-year old event.

Simona said...

One more thing (please forgive my wordiness this morning). For the second anniversary event, I was thinking, how about talking about a vegetable that is a bit of a challenge for us, with 'challenge' broadly defined (one we thought we did not like, but we find out that we do; or one that we have to gather some courage to try; or one we have always wondered about but never looked closely at). Just a thought.

Kalyn said...

Bea, you must grow some next year if you have a sunny spot at your house. They're ridiculously easy to grow and the little ones are so tasty.

Karina, I saw your grilled veggies, and I love, love the idea of grilled cabbage chunks. Just brilliant.

Simona, thanks so much for reassuring me that my garden experiments aren't boring. It's fun hearing that you're getting to cook some veggies from your own garden. I'm still thinking of ideas for the two year event, but the idea of a personal "challenge" is a great one. I think it's going to be a lot of fun.

Chris said...

Yum! I love summer squash. I actually grilled some last week, but never got it in on time for WHB....Looks great!

Maria Helene Schlösser said...

Yummy as ever. I love gourgette and do them often; so it´s another way to try them. Thanks Kalyn!! :)

Rebeca said...

Kalyn, your post coincided with the first time I've ever seen baby summer squash for sale at my local market. Great timing! We'll try this tonight.

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