Summer Is In: Summer Squash

The short version:

This week's market had a gazillion types of squash, from your basic yellow summer squash to zucchini to more exotic Korean squashes, like avocado squash and cousa squash. Our demo today was a simple steamed cousa squash with summer squash and wilted fresh herbs. The squash was from Yuno's Farm, the summer squash from John D. Donovan farm, and the tarragon was from Scarborough Fields. It was seasoned with a squeeze of lemon juice, extra virgin olive oil, and a healthy dash of salt. Summer in a steel bowl. Delicious!

The long version:

Planning is awful. The worst. The only thing worse than planning a Greenmarket demo is not planning at all. This week, I did both. I put together a recipe for this week based on an excellent antipasto I'd had, based on a recipe that was relayed to me, and that felt right, and that I hadn't tested.

I did of course test the recipe, but after a really busy week I wasn't able to test the recipe until Sunday. That's two days after I'd sent the recipe to the Greenmarket coordinator to be duplicated. So after 100 recipes were copied, I tested the recipe as I would execute it at the market, and yuck! The sharp vinegar tang that is delicious in a cold antipasto is like an assault on a warm squash. There is of course no refrigeration at the Greenmarket tent, so the squash would be served lukewarm barring some complicated procedure like icing down the squash. So I scaled back, did something much tamer, just a steamed squash with wilted herbs. You may notice a theme emerging here. The Greenmarket coordinator has been saying to me from the very beginning, keep it simple. Very simple. It's his mantra, and he patiently says it so me each time I see him. He's a smart man, and experienced at coordinating these demos. I am slowly coming to understand.

There were literally dozens of types of squash available today:

Patty pan and cousa and summer squash and baby zucchini and yellow squash and spaghetti squash and green squash and something called avocado squash that was at last week's market as well.

I fell in love with this lovely, lovely, squash. It is indeed shaped like an avocado, and the flesh looks like an avocado, too. It is especially sweet and creamy. Very, very tasty. I brought two of these home with me last week, and planned to feature this Very Special Squash today. But. Today there were only a few of these, and an abundance of another squash, the cousa. So cousa it was. One of the sample tasters today misheard and thought I said 'goosehead,' which would be a pretty exciting squash.

The cousa is a light green Asian squash that has a high proportion of flesh to seeds and is firm and sweet. It looks a little like a fat zucchini, but it's much rounder, more globe-shaped, and has pumpkin-like stripes. It's not too much to say I love it. And a truly amazing thing happened at the market today, which is that two separate kids, young kids, under ten, were clamoring for a little cup full of steamed squash. Go figure. This must be a very special squash in its own right.

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