Monday, August 3, 2009

One Local Summer Week 9

Squash and eggs. For me, one of the most comforting things about summer. Growing up in an Italian family, we often had traditional Sunday suppers, where we all sat down around 2 in the afternoon to a huge bowl of pasta (usually rigatoni, but ravioli as a special wait, rigatoni with ricotta cheese! that was a special treat) with meatballs and sausage. Now, eating what would be a usual weeknight dinner so early in the day always meant that around 8 o'clock everyone was hungry again. Most times I can remember reheating pasta fazool, or some leftover pizza, but during the summer? Many nights it was squash and eggs. Squash fried up in a pan, scrambled eggs dumped on top and cooked until they were good and brown. And always eaten on the rest of the Italian bread from supper. It seems there must have been something a bit magical about that dish, because it was the only way I ever ate zucchini when I was a kid. Now, summer is never complete without a squash and eggs sandwich eaten on a Sunday night.

Squash and Eggs (two ways)

For the sandwiches:

eggs (1-2 per person)
small onion, minced
fresh zucchini or summer squash, cubed (1 small is good for 4)
Italian bread (ciabatta perhaps?) or sub rolls

Heat up a pan over medium heat with some olive oil, enough to coat the pan. Toss in the onions and cook until nearly browned. Add in the squash. Cook until at least soft, or cook until they are browned if you like them that way. While the squash is cooking, break up the eggs in a bowl. Once the squash is cooked, reduce the heat to low and add the eggs. Stir the eggs, squash and onions in the pan as the eggs cook. You can keep your eggs on the soft side if you like, but in this dish it's fine to really cook them. Add salt and pepper to taste, and put the hot eggs onto your bread. Top with some grated cheese, or not, and enjoy. Just remember to keep a tight hold on your bread, the eggs always try to squeeze out the other end!

Squash stuffed with eggs (for 4)

2 zucchini, either large or round for stuffing
3-4 eggs
1 small onion
olive oil
salt and pepper
fresh herbs

Preheated 350 F oven

Cut the zucchini in half and scoop out the middle and reserve. Rub the insides with olive oil and season with salt. Place zucchini halves on a sheet pan or baking dish and place in oven for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile mince the onion and chop the reserved zucchini. Heat a pan over medium heat with enough olive oil to coat the pan. Add the onion and zucchini along with a pinch of salt (I find when frying onions that salting them helps to keep them from burning). Beat the eggs with the vegetables are cooking. When the onions and zucchini are done, reduce the heat to low and add the eggs. Stir the eggs while cooking. They are done when they are still a bit soft. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the zucchini from the oven and add the eggs to each. Return the zucchini to the oven for 5 minutes. Before serving, add some chopped fresh herbs (I love oregano with these) or grated cheese.

Another version of this (in the picture above) is to use a round squash and bake an egg inside of it. Bake the squash shell as above. Instead of using scrambled eggs, break an egg into the squash and return it to the oven. Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the whites are set. I find this method a bit hard to get the yolks just right...most times mine end up a bit overcooked.


Anonymous August 4, 2009 at 3:02 AM  

I love roasted/grilled squash. I don't eat eggs, but I will definitely pass this on to my friends who are overflowing with summer squash and zucchini now.

Virginia August 4, 2009 at 8:13 PM  

What a comforting memory and a lovely meal!

Kristin August 5, 2009 at 7:10 AM  

Thanks! I would imagine you could replace the eggs with tofu, especially when stuffing the squash. It's fun to come up with all sorts of ways to stuff the zucchini in the summertime...squash always makes a neat little way to serve pasta that you would normally bake too!

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