Easy Summer Sides: Yellow Crookneck Squash
Long before the June solstice, summer is heralded by Memorial Day, picnics, backyard barbecues, and abundant yellow crookneck squash. This colorful squash dish with red bell pepper and fresh basil or dill (suit yourself) is great for summer entertaining, and it travels well to a potluck. I tasted something like this dish once at a potluck supper way back, and of course, since I live in the South, it would have been smothered with cheese. I think this dish proves the winning possibility of creating a casserole without cheese that everyone will still love — and if you can’t live without the dairy, just add some cheese or plain yogurt. Or, instead, try mixing in a cup or two of vegan yogurt. (We like Kite Hill and Forager.) I prefer to cook it on the stove top when serving it at home, but you can bake it in the oven instead and not have to tend to it.
Squash is wonderfully easy to digest and one of the best foods to eat when you want to give your digestion a rest (minus the panko crumbs or cheese). Squash is somewhat kapha-increasing because it’s watery, so I add onion and black pepper, which pacify kapha. Southerners have done this intuitively for years! Cheese and the various types of yogurt—dairy or vegan—will increase kapha but are fine on occasion for many people. According to Ayurveda, it’s best to avoid cheese at night, when it tends to cause a build-up of toxins. It’s also best to avoid cheese or yogurt if you have a cold or cough, as these will increase mucus.
Enjoy this Yellow Crookneck Squash with Red Bell Pepper dish all summer long!