Big butterstick summer squash, what is your destiny?

Fee-fi-fo-fum! I smelled a bunch of zucchini recipes.

The summer squash plants at VHHQ are starting to produce. The crop this year may not be great. It’s been a cool summer in Madison.

But I’ve already plucked a butterstick as big as my forearm and a pool ball as big as a softball. Leaving summer squash on the vine even a day too long can result in monster vegetables, and giant squash can taste woody. Please pick small squash. Resist the urge to buy beast squash at the farmers’ market. It won’t taste good, and it will be hard to chop. With squash, bigger is not better.

It happens, though, to many gardeners: a veggie hides under leaves, and you become the proud owner of a comically large squash.

Try making zucchini bread, muffins, or cake to disguise the fibrous quality of these king-sized veggies. Sugar, eggs, butter, and flour make just about everything better.

I don’t find much difference in taste among summer squash, so I swap buttersticks for zucchini all the time.

I want to make lemon-zucchini cornmeal cookies from the September 2009 issue of Everyday Food.

I have designs on the following summer squash recipes:

Summer squash gratin, from 101 Cookbooks.
Lasagna tart, also from 101 Cookbooks.
Chocolate zucchini cake, from King Arthur Flour.
Zucchini chocolate chip cookies, from “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle,” by Barbara Kingsolver.
– Summer squash salad, from the September 2009 issue of Martha Stewart Living.

The chocolate cake is one of my favorites; the summer squash makes it incredibly moist. Many people who eat it are surprised to learn it contains a ton of summer squash. The other recipes are new to me. If I have enough squash, I will cook them all, and I’ll probably make some zucchini bread and stir fry along the way.

Removing extra moisture from butterstick and pool ball squash makes recipes less watery.

Consider this the first entry in my zucchini diary of ’09.

What are your favorite summer squash recipes?