Summer squash is the antithesis to my love of eating beets. The moment the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share included two pounds of summer squash, my stomach started turning. A deep breath was inhaled. Memories of sauté summer squash slowly unraveled. This is the summer to make peace with this squalid yellow vegetable.
No worries, for my fear of this vegetable will be conquered. As a visual designer, its beauty cannot be ignored. They look lovely, don’t they? The spiny, oval ones with the green and yellow patterns look harmonious. I placed them on the kitchen counter for visual decoration. It was a ploy to trick my mind. “See? They look beautiful,” I thought, “How could a pretty vegetable taste terrible?” I had past memories of them sautéed with onions or roasted with mozzarella cheese that was supposed to render them delicious. Instead, that summer squash taste never disappeared, no matter how they were served.
The best way to handle this vegetable was to serve them in a new dish that wasn’t part of my childhood. I didn’t grow up eating hash potatoes. It was a dish rarely ordered in restaurants, too. The Baby Potatoes, Summer Squash and Turkey Bacon Hash recipe is part of a “good mistake” of accidentally burning bacon. Embarrassed at the thought of serving burnt bacon, the good parts were roughly chopped. A few baby potatoes were quickly blanched. Then, I looked in the refrigerator for more options. The pretty yellow squash smiled. As it was being chopped, I tested a chunk. The inside’s texture was firm, and the color was creamy. It had a slightly sweet and raw taste. I realized, perhaps the solution to cooking this vegetable to my taste, was not to over cook them to a floppy texture. As the onions were sautéing to a translucent appearance in the same skillet as the bacon grease, the squash was quickly added. I made sure to cook it for less than a minute before adding the potatoes and the chopped bacon. The hash was quickly placed in bowl, to prevent further cooking. A few chopped basil leaves were used as a garnish.
The summer squash taste was still slightly there. The texture was solid and sweet. It’s a good dish. A solid lesson was learned that morning: If I don’t overcook summer squash, it could be a lovely vegetable to eat.
Baby Potatoes, Summer Squash and Turkey Bacon Hash
1/4 to 1/2 cup turkey bacon
1 cup baby potatoes; depending on size, quartered or halved
1/4 to 1/2 cup red onion; roughly chopped
1 cup summer squash; roughly chopped
salt and pepper; to taste
Garnish: Basil, roughly chopped
1. In a black skillet, cook turkey bacon until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. Let cool and roughly chop them to pieces. Place aside.
2. As the bacon is frying, place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Add a dash of salt. Cover with a lid. Bring the water to a boil. Remove cover and simmer for 6 to 8 minutes, until slightly soft. Strain and rinse potatoes under cold water to stop them from cooking. Place aside.
3. As the potatoes are boiling, add the red onions to the skillet over medium heat. When they’re translucent and slightly brown, add the summer squash. Quickly stir-fry for at most one minute.
4. Add the potatoes, turkey bacon, salt and pepper. Mix gently. Either serve the hash from the skillet or place in a bowl.
5. Garnish with basil and enjoy.