Sunday, July 17, 2011

What's in Season Sunday: Baby Summer Squash

This week I came across the loveliest summer squash. Just look at the bright colors of the beautiful blossoms growing off these guys! Many people use the blossoms to cook with. I've heard of stuffing them with goat cheese and herbs and sauteing them. I must try this next time. You need to use the blossoms right away, they don't last long. You could also coarsely chop the blossoms and add them to a salad. Squash is so versatile. It can be used in so many ways including in bread, cookies, soup, stir fry, or grilled with pasta and parmesan cheese. The petite size of the baby summer squash makes them really fun to cook with because they add so much to the presentation of a dish. Because they are so small, their sugars are especially concentrated so they are also uniquely sweet.

So what to do with summer squash? Let me rephrase this, what can't you do with summer squash? The possibilities are endless! I am sure towards August I will post again on how I've used squash in my kitchen. This time around, I have decided to try my hand at making homemade pizza dough and top my pizza with grilled sliced squash and red onions. For my pizza sauce, I choose to use pesto I had stored in the freezer from last year (I am keeping my eyes out for bunches of basil at the farmer's market so I can make a big batch again like last year). I also purchased fresh mozzarella cheese. I didn't have tomatoes on hand, but they would be delicious layered atop the pizza as well.

Homemade Pizza Dough - Easy!

1 package active dry yeast
I cup warm water (hot to touch under faucet)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour (I mixed 1 cup wheat flour into my dough)

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in remaining ingredients. Beat 20 strokes and let rest for five minutes. Roll out dough or separate into thirds and make personal pizzas. You can also freeze the dough. If you freeze the dough, wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in a Ziploc bag or airtight container. For sauce, either use a traditional tomato based sauce or try pesto. For toppings, grill or saute sliced onions and squash. Be creative and add your toppings of choice. I chose to keep it simple this time so I could appreciate the squash. Layer with slices of fresh mozarella and bake in the oven at 425 degrees until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is light brown. Enjoy!

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