A Summer Squash and Tomato Recipe That’s Fast and Delicious!
One of the best things about living in Southern New Jersey is our farmers, and the wonderful array of fresh local fruits and vegetables available every Spring through the Fall. I spend many an afternoon driving from one small farm stand to the next, planning my meals around whichever garden delights have just been brought in from the fields that day: gigantic ripe tomatoes, sweet white corn, juicy white nectarines or peaches, eggplant, asparagus and more. With so much available that’s fresh and delicious, summer especially is a wonderful time to enjoy vegetarian meals that are super fast and extremely healthy.
Here is one of my favorite summer recipes to prepare, using some staples from our local farmers: tomatoes, onions, summer squash and peppers. It’s an easy recipe to adapt to your tastes – that is, use only green squash or yellow squash if you prefer, and make it as hot and spicy as you like depending on the type of peppers you use. I recently had some lovely Italian long hots and a sweet Cubanelle to use up, which made for a wonderful flavor balance in this dish. It all cooks in one pot, and served with freshly cooked rice or another grain it makes for a very satisfying meal without meat! Even young children who may not normally like squash should be won over by the pretty colors and great flavors in this dish. So why not give it a try tonight?
Simmered Summer Squash
- Prep time: 10 min
- Cook time: 30 min
- Ready in: 40 min
- Yields: 4
First get your vegetables prepped and ready for cooking.
In a medium saucepan with a lid, bring broth or salted water to a boil. Add rice and return to boil; cover and cook over low heat according to recommended time for your type of rice (brown rice requires longer cooking time than white rice.)
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan with lid and add onions, garlic, sliced squash and peppers. Stir to coat with oil and saute over medium-high heat for 5 minutes.
Add tomatoes, basil, and fresh ground pepper. Cover pan and reduce heat to a low and gentle simmer for 20-25 minutes, depending on the freshness of your squash and quality of your tomatoes. The fresher the ingredients, the less time they will need to cook.
When squash is tender but not limp, remove pan from heat and season to taste with salt.
Place cooked rice into serving bowls and then top with cooked squash mixture. Top each bowl with freshly shredded cheddar cheese and serve. Enjoy!
PS: Got leftovers? No problem!
Any leftover simmered squash can easily be reheated the next day for a great side dish to grilled chicken or steak. Or, use it as a pasta sauce for another summer treat!