Something I've learned from this year's garden is that I don't need 4 zucchini plants and 4 summer squash plants -- two of each would be more than enough. Nature is truly generous -- plant one little seed and you get a big huge plant that gives you tons of good eats. Until you're super tired of eating that same vegetable every day of the week and although you try, you have so much you can't even give it all away. Yeah, people won't even take it anymore. And the plants are still producing... and producing... and producing. . .
I've done about everything I can think of to the squash and zucchini -- thankfully it's quite a versatile vegetable. It's been fried, baked, shredded, sliced, mashed, and stuffed. I've used them for breakfast, lunch and dinner and dessert. So the other day, I was left wondering what the heck else I could do to the squash and zucchini. The internet didn't give me too many ideas that I could use; most of the recipes included copious amounts of cheese and bread crumbs to make a casserole. Or putting zucchini with pasta. Or something else that didn't fit into our diet, like dumping a can of creamed soup on top.
Then I found it: a recipe for succotash using zucchini. First of all, it's just fun to say "succotash", so that makes it worth making. And secondly, the recipe was easy. The problem was that I didn't have some of the ingredients, so I decided to turn mine into a southwest version with cilantro, onion and jalapeno. It was light and fresh -- great for with a summer meal. The next morning, try the leftovers with some scrambled egg or in an omelette.
Southwest Summer Succotash
1 T lard, bacon grease or butter
1 onion, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
3 sweet banana peppers diced (optional)
3 jalapenos, seeded and diced small (keep veins and seeds for more spice)
1 medium-to-large zucchini, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium-to-large summer squash, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced
3 cloves, minced
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup fresh minced cilantro
salt and pepper
1. In a large skillet, heat lard over medium heat. Add onion, yellow pepper, banana peppers, and jalapeno. Saute until softened, about 7-10 minutes.
2. Add diced zucchini and summer squash and continue to cook, stirring frequently. Saute until tender but not mushy, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and stir.
3. Make a well in the center of the skillet and add garlic -- mash and cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds, then stir into vegetables.
4. Off the heat, stir in lemon juice and cilantro. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve.
*Optional additions would include fresh corn, black beans and avocado.