Playing Squash

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 dishΒ 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.

Zucchini Pancakes
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?

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  1. I have eaten lots of zucchini and really like it. Once I lived in a tiny town in Arizona and lots of folks had gardens. The saying was there that when town you should always lock up your car or someone would fill it up with zucchini.

    • That’s funny! I haven’t heard it before but it doesn’t surprise me. I can’t believe how many are produced sometimes.

  2. Sally Mom

     /  July 14, 2012

    Lovely post, Tammy.
    My mom made zucc pancakes and I made them for my children. Topped with greek yogurt and or, sour cream, green onions and favorite cheese. I think I will make some tomorrow to go with salmon. They are nice topped with lox as well as all the other goodies. Thanks for reminding me!

    • Yes, Mollie Katzen says to top them with yogurt or sour cream. I didn’t do that but it would be good.

  3. I think squash is a great game for the UK because it’s not dependent on good weather! I played squash when I was growing up and found it to be a great game that like you say, is very social. Love the sound of these zucchini pancakes. I find zucchini to be very versatile – I use them to make cakes as well xx

  4. These look absolutely delicious!

    I just harvested some zucchini from our garden today…looking forward to giving these a whirl πŸ™‚

    Come and add this recipe to the link party! Hope to see you there!!!

  5. I love Molly Katzen’s zucchini crust pizza, too.

  6. Hi Tammy! There can’t be too many summer zucchini recipes in the world–we need ’em all to keep up with the garden droves (a zeal of zucchini?) I make zucchini cakes that taste like (pretty much) crabcakes–I’ll have to try Molly Katzen’s with feta and mint for a change. A zucchini as a weapon? I pulled one of those out of the garden yesterday—don’t know how that giant eluded me.

    • I would love mine to taste like crabcakes so please teach me. These are super light. And funny about the weapon, huh? I am planning to post our zucchini pasta from your blog.

  7. Yellow crook-neck is my favorite also. My southern born and raised Grandmother could make the best yellow squash side dish…I wish I had her recipe…but it went with her to the other side.


    • Well, I think you need to be on a mission to recreate it.

      • I’ve tried. I think it needs her loving touch! Boiled yellow squash, canned milk…??? I don’t know what else or if there is anything else.

  8. I make something called Zucchini Fritters which sounds similar, Tammy. It’s a vegan recipe. Can’t wait until our squash comes on in the garden! Have never played the game “squash”.

  9. I love, love, love zucchini. I usually fall back on my old method of cooking it – steamed briefly in a bit of vegetable broth – so I look forward to trying your recipe as a way to expand my horizons. By the way, Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Day is coming up on August 8th. Hopefully you will get some surprise zucchini then!

    • Hahahaha! Really? That’s funny. Sounds similar to Montucky’s comment about locking your car lest someone fills it with zucchini.

  10. Lisa H

     /  July 15, 2012

    Dad would plant so many zucchini plants. Of course, it seemed to ripen all at the same time. Mom would lightly bread and deep fry them so they were crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside. We would eat them until we were sick. I like your pancake recipe, as it sounds nice and light!

  11. haha, lots of squash games in new zealand too! love the food more of course.

  12. This made me smile, because I have never heard of squash, except for what we grow and eat! Thanks for sharing the recipe!

  13. Just picked our first zucchini of the season yesterday! LOVE squash! Looks like a tasty recipe. I would substitute leeks for the scallions tho as I prefer their taste.

  14. I love these, Tammy: and they’re so easy to grow!! Great recipe. Just the thought of teaming them with feta cheese makes my tummy rumble.

  15. Great post!
    Moving to Canada, I have discovered so many different squashes, I miss Gem squash, but find that Acorn squash tastes a lot like it.
    I didn’t know the crooked neck squash was called that πŸ˜‰

  16. Its the healthy ingredients for lot of dishes.

  17. I will make this for breakfast soon. It looks simple and healthy πŸ™‚

  18. Great idea! I never know what to do with all the squash in my CSA. Thanks!

  19. jessicajorgensen

     /  July 18, 2012

    yum, my grandma makes swiss steak and potato pancakes but this is a perfect summer alternative.

  20. yum will have to try this recipe – and what a delicious picture.

  21. The recipe sounds fab – another for me to try when my courgettes finally get under way – I picked the first of the season today – so exciting! And I remember playing squash at school, a great fast game!

  22. We call squash: yellow & green courgettes! I love this easy yet very tasty recipe! Courgettes are great in here!

  23. My mom loves zucchini. She uses to make it in a pan with onions and tomatoes and can eat that every single day. I’m not so much a zucchini girl (although I’ve come to like them more recently, particularly thanks to my vacation in Venice when I used to order grilled veggies with my seafood lunches and dinners, and zucchini always were among them). I like them grilled or roasted (preferably in a grilling pan πŸ˜€ ), and it’s nice to season them with a little balsamic vinegar which adds a little sourness-sweetness to them. Cooked I don’t like them so much because then I just find them flabby and bland. πŸ˜€ I’m very much into all kinds of winter squash though.

  24. Hmm, zucchini pancakes!? Gotta try that one day. The other day we harvested a large squash from the garden and just cooked it stir fry.

  25. In place of the red pepper flakes,try adding a bit of ground cardamom to the batter. It very subtle but it’s such a lovely hint o’spice.

  26. Potato pancakes are big in our town–and this looks like a lighter, healthier version. Most timely!

  27. Because I love making potato pancakes, I tried my hand at zucchini pancakes a few years back. They did not go over well at all. For one thing, they don’t taste that great with applesauce!

  28. I grew up in South Africa and often played squash, but I haven’t found it to be prolific here in south western France. However, the zucchinis are and I am always happy for more recipes so thank you!


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