The first of the pumpkin spice lattes have begun to appear in my Pinterest feed, a sure sign that autumn is approaching, despite the heat wave we’ve been having. Pretty soon it’ll be all pumpkin-infused everything, all the time. For now, though, the farmer’s market is still selling late summer produce, for which I am abundantly grateful.
This is not a pumpkin, though it looks like one on the outside. It’s a globe squash, a kind of summer squash, soft-skinned and quick-cooking like its cousins the zucchini, crookneck, and pattypan squash.
Shaved into thin strips (I used a mandoline, but you could use a vegetable peeler or knife), it’s tender enough to eat raw, but benefits from a minute or two in boiling water. To be quite honest, it also benefits from some dressing or marinade — it’s not as flavorful on its own as the raw butternut squash the kids and I used for our winter squash spring rolls.
I tossed the squash strips with edamame and bean thread noodles, chopped mint and basil, and — don’t laugh — a spoonful of peanut butter. I know I make fun of M for putting peanut butter in his oatmeal, but I didn’t have any peanut sauce (or other appropriate-seeming dressings) at the ready, and it actually worked quite well.
And no, I didn’t boil a whole pot of water on a hot day just to blanch squash — I boiled the water to cook the edamame, scooped the beans out and blanched the squash, then scooped that out and cooked some bean thread noodles. (At that point, the water was halfway to being broth, and I wish I could say that I made it into soup, but I was busy taking photos of the light coming through the squash slices and didn’t even think of it.)