Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Mashed Summer Squash with Cheddar

This is a slightly different twist on the usual summer squash or zucchini preparations. We all liked it, including the kids. I served it with grilled chorizo alongside, and my seven-year-old swore that bites of the two dishes together was the absolute best way to consume them. If you like this, I think it's a theme that could be riffed on pretty extensively - I'm thinking of additions like chilies or bacon, or substitutions like goat cheese for variety.

5 lbs summer squash or zucchini (about 3-4 large ones), sliced
1-2 Tbsp olive oil
1 head garlic, minced, or 1/2 cup chopped scapes
Splash of water
4-5 ounces shredded sharp cheddar
Salt and pepper to taste

Toss the sliced squash in a colander with a sprinkling of salt all over, then let it sit for 10-15 minutes. Shake off the excess liquid; pat dry with a dish towel if you're feeling slightly more ambitious. You can skip this step if you like, or if you're in more of a hurry, but it will help make your end product a bit thicker.

Heat the olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add the drained squash and the garlic or scapes. Saute over medium high heat for 3-4 minutes. Add a splash of water to keep the garlic from sticking to the bottom. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring periodically. You want the squash to be nice and tender. When it is done. remove from heat and either mash with a potato masher or puree with an immersion blender. Ideally you want to leave it slightly chunky. Stir in the shredded cheese until melted. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

Serves about 4.

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