summer squash

[English] plural summer squashes

Summer squash can refer to different types of squash. In the US these are generally the immature fruits of Cucurbita pepo harvested while the skin is still edible and hasn’t hardened up to become a rind. These include the pattypan squashes, yellow crook-necked and courgettes (US: zucchini).

In Italy it refers to a squash which can grow to an enormous size, described as looking like a bleached, mutant courgette (US: zucchini). Depending on how long it is left to grow (the season is generally midsummer to the first frost), a zucca can weigh anywhere from a 1½ to 7 lbs. The shape may vary from almost ball-shaped to serpentine in shape. The bigger they get the milder their flavour. They should be peeled and cut into sections and then boiled or steamed and then may be eaten with freshly squeezed lemon juice and olive oil. The flavour of the creamy, cooked flesh is fairly bland, which makes it a good vehicle for other flavours.

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