I don’t think I’d ever heard of the game of squash prior to moving to England. Growing up we were a tennis family and although I do think my dad may have gone out for the occasional racquet ball game, squash, the sport, just wasn’t in our experience.
When I moved to the UK after college, I was introduced to squash and found it a terrific way to socialize after work and on the weekends. It was fun, good exercise and a method to meet new friends. These days, while I meet a friend for a hike or a zumba class, it does seem like participation in a racquet league other other type of team sport would be a great way to incorporate regular exercise. As for the social part, I now find myself parked in the bleachers watching my eldest play baseball on a regular basis and have come to be good friends with many of the parents.
Growing up, squash was certainly part of our vocabulary though. We grew zucchini and yellow crooked neck squash – the latter being my favorite both then and now. Anyone who’s had a garden knows how prolific zucchini can be. My grandmother baked loads of loaves of zucchini bread and we have a savory dish cooked with onions, tomatoes and cheese that I could never quite warm up to.
I’ve come to appreciate the mild flavor of zucchini. I love how quickly it cooks and how the subtle green flecks adhere to pasta. Zucchini is considered a mild anti-inflammatory and is rich in vitamin C and vitamin B6. The intense moisture that it holds is what makes it such a great addition to sweet muffins and cakes. It’s useful in other ways too. In 2010, a Montana woman defended herself against a bear with an overgrown zucchini!
This week, I pulled out a favorite Molly Katzen recipe to use a large squash from Desert Roots Farm. This recipe works great for the diverse eating patterns in our home. Two non-meat eaters ate this with salad as a meal while it served as a side for meat eaters.
adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook
Served 6 (2 as a meal and 4 as a side)
4 eggs separated
4 packed cups grated zucchini
1 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/2 cup finely minced scallions
1 Tbs. fresh mint finely minced
salt and black pepper to taste
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/3 cup flour
olive oil for frying
Grate zucchini, mince scallions and complete prep work. Beat the egg whites until stiff. Squeeze water out of the squash and discard water. In a medium bowl, combine zucchini, egg yolks, feta, scallions, seasonings and flour. Mix well. Fold the egg whites into the mixture. Heat oil in a heavy skillet and when it’s very hot, add spoonfuls of batter.
Now what fun energetic sport will you contemplate this week?