Sunday, September 20, 2009

Squash and Dry

As much as I love zucchini and as much as I look forward to fall's butternut and acorn squashes, there's one kind of squash I just haven't appreciated a whole lot: yellow summer squash.

I'm not sure why. It doesn't taste all that different from zucchini, but it's enough to make it less appealing for me, so I don't go out of my way to buy it.

I'm not alone. The Lady Bountiful has lamented a few times this summer that when she sets out summer squash and yellow and green zucchini for CSA pickup and then allows people to pick what they want, inevitably the summer squash gets passed over in favor of its brethren.

But I've finally figured out a way even I can find this under-appreciated vegetable irresistible.

Last week I finally tried making zucchini chips in the dehydrator: medium-thick slices tossed with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then spread across the dehydrator trays and dried for well over 12 hours to make a thin, crisp, tasty vegetable chip. I enjoyed them so much that I decided the recipe was worth trying on summer squash, so I picked a few from this week's CSA basket and bought more at the farmers' market yesterday.

These chips are ridiculously easy to throw together, and you can modify the seasonings to suit your taste. I added paprika to this batch, but another time I might try curry powder or chili powder. I lined the trays with parchment paper so that I didn't have to wash the mesh liners, arranged the slices, and set the dehydrator at 125 F yesterday afternoon, allowing the slices to dry overnight.

By mid-morning, I was ready to turn the machine off and test the chips. Perfection! So I slid them all into a clean glass jar, nibbling a few along the way, and screwed on the lid before setting them aside for snacks this week.

It's so easy and so satisfying, you'll want to make these over and over again.

At least I know I will!

Squash Chips

These work well with any kind of summer squash. I've been told that kale or other greens treated in the same way are also delicious, and I imagine that sliced cucumbers, sliced and blanched carrots, and other vegetables would make equally tasty chips. Experiment!

summer squash, sliced
other spices or herbs if desired
extra virgin olive oil

The recipe is so flexible, you can make any quantity you like. Toss the squash in a bowl with salt and pepper to taste, with any extra herbs or seasonings added for good measure. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and toss until all slices are coated.

Arrange slices on dehydrator trays, placing slices close together. Dry for 12-18 hours at 125 F, until chips are crisp. Store in airtight glass container.

Makes not nearly enough once you get hooked!

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At 9/21/2009 2:44 PM, Blogger Phoenix said... I really need to get my hands on that spare dryer.

At 9/21/2009 2:46 PM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Yes. (nodding) You do. Hop to it, Phoenix! :-)

At 9/21/2009 4:52 PM, Blogger Jennifer Hugon said...

Yum yum yum!!

At 9/22/2009 7:15 AM, Blogger The Baklava Queen said...

Got that right, Jen! Good thing I'm getting more squash in this week's CSA...


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