zucchini and potato torte / eating summer

baked torte

In Mississippi, and most of the deep south, summer usually starts in May. While the rest of the world gets to continue enjoying their cardigans and cool breezes and warm soups, Mississippi residents are living in the early stages of a 3-4 month sauna. May (literally) melts into June. The hotter days mean lots of fun things like vacations, watermelons, lemonade, sandy beaches, fresh blueberries, popsicles, the list goes on. I love the food that comes with summer; it means the smell of fresh basil, juicy ripe tomatoes, cold sweet watermelons! The local markets, and my front yard, have been a veritable explosion of abundant produce.

Sigh. That brings us to summer squash. Yellow squash, green zucchini, however it is known to you, I’ve never really cared for it. My working memories of the summer gourd include pan fried disks of under-salted mushiness. Not a lot of flavor, kind of watery, seedy (as in, lots of seeds). I’m usually not inclined to the first world eating problem that is texture aversions, but with summer squash, it is very real. The sogginess! *shudder* But it grows so well in our garden in the warm moisture-thick climate we live in. So well, that new blossoms burst forth every day. Yellow and green pods grow inches overnight. The leaves are so thick and tall, you could easily lose a toddler in them if you’re not watching. Something this prolific needs to be given to chance to be eaten!

So my summer eating venture (challenge! said in that voice) has been to find ways of cooking squash that actually taste good and, well, don’t make me gag. Plus eating seasonally, that’s a thing these days, right?

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