A couple years ago an oversight actually turned into a delicious idea. I walked out to my patch of yellow squash plants and found a squash that had become huge. It was about 14 inches long and had a diameter of about 4 inches. As soon as I saw the summer squash I immediately became angry at myself for not checking between the big leaves better for possible pickings. This one had slipped by, and was now probably not worth eating.
Typically when summer squash get too mature (such as this one), they become tough and grainy tasting. They certainly don’t have the same light, buttery taste that I have come to love from yellow summer squash.
I was bent on not trashing the big squash, so I asked my mother what to do with it. She grabbed the huge squash with a “what the..?” look on her face and went to work on concocting a recipe for it. It turned out to be some of the best prepared summer squash I have ever had! Here is the recipe for baked overgrown summer squash:
Baked Overgrown Summer Squash
- 1 or 2 overgrown yellow summer squash, ends removed and halved long ways
- 2 small spoonfuls of butter per squash half
- 1 or 2 slices of white onion per squash half
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Pam or other non-stick cooking spray
- Kosher or Sea Salt (regular table salt would be fine, too)
- Course ground black pepper
- Garlic and Parsley Powder
- Shredded or grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat the oven to 375°.
- Make sure to thoroughly wash the squash halves, if you haven’t done so already.
- Take a baking sheet or pan and place a layer of aluminum foil on the bottom. Spray the foil with Pam or another non-stick cooking spray.
- Place the squash halves on the baking sheet, side-by-side.
- Take a sharp knife and cut 4 or 5 slits in each squash half, long ways.
- Put two spoonfuls of butter on each squash half
- Lightly drizzle a little olive oil on each half; use a brush to lightly brush the oil across each squash half (In hindsight, it might be better to add the butter AFTER brushing on the olive oil)
- Place 1 or 2 onion slices on each half and sprinkle the halves with the Kosher salt, pepper, garlic and parsley powder. Sprinkle the shredded parmesan cheese on the halves until they are covered.
- Place the baking pan into the oven and let cook until cheese has browned; usually 30 – 45 minutes, depending on the size of the squash.
You will know the squash are ready once the cheese has melted, and the onions have become translucent in color. The squash should be soft and tender. You will notice that the slits cut into the squash have opened up, letting all the butter, cheese, and garlic parsley powder seep into the flesh.
You can serve the squash with just about anything, but goes really well with a nice steak or a plateful of ribs. I hope you enjoy my mother’s recipe for overgrown squash. I know I do!