Yellow Crookneck Squash with Roasted Tomato Sauce

Yellow crookneck squash

Much as I love my garden and what it produces, this time of year can be a bit overwhelming, especially when I don’t have the time to spend in the kitchen that I’d like. The island in my kitchen has been positively taken over by yellow crookneck squash and tomatoes, and tonight I thought ‘enough already!’

The yellow crookneck is a fun-looking squash, so unabashedly, cheerfully yellow and with that whimsical neck. The plants on which it grows are lovely and exuberant looking, particularly once festooned with these pretty summer squashes. They are supposed to be at their best young (and I can say firsthand that they are very good), but I’ve not minded about letting quite a few of our crop get a bit longer in the tooth. It’s the difference between a zucchini or courgette and a more youthful winter squash.

With so many green tomatoes ripening involuntarily on my island, it was time to think about pairing these two, so tonight I threw them together in a casserole to be topped by cheese in the final minutes of baking.

Yellow crookneck squash on a chopping board

With a more mature crookneck, you end up with some narrower rounds from the neck that look like zucchini with a frilled neck, as well as a lot of chopped up pieces from the more rotund body (seeds removed, though you can leave them in).

Chopped crookneck squash in a casserole

Chopping squash late in the evening is best done with a glass of something nice.

Ingredients for roasted tomato sauce on a baking pan

Earlier this season I did prepare a layered dish with rounds of (younger) crookneck squash and tomatoes, along with seasoning and some cheese. My husband loved it, but for me it was more of a taste of what could be. This is my first year growing this squash, and I also really had no experience of cooking with it previously. As it was a huge success in the garden, I figure I need to get to grips with how best to prepare it for eating. For me, this means a little more depth and nuance, so I turned to oven roasted tomatoes, which I first got into in a big way last summer.

I picked over the mountains of tomatoes on the island, ending up with a nice colander full of red, orange and yellow specimens. Chopped and thrown in to a bowl, I added roughly chopped white onion, several crushed cloves of garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, basil and some olive oil. Roasted for about 40 minutes, that mix was then transferred to the Cuisinart and blended just long enough to make a simple sauce. This I poured over the squash sitting patiently in my casserole dish.

Roasted tomato sauce in the Cuisinart

Roasted tomato sauce over yellow squash in a casserole

While this was in the oven, I was also simmering a chicken on the stovetop for stock; my youngest came with me today to the butcher’s, and chose the biggest chicken available and I couldn’t really say no. I figured I would be making chicken pot pie or some such, but my husband promises me that if I just leave the meat in the fridge he and the kids will enjoy eating it as-is. Sounds good to me.

Yellow squash and roasted tomato casserole with cheese

The finished casserole was topped with grated cheddar, as simple seemed best. Time in the oven can be reduced by parboiling the squash first; otherwise, it’s a long bake when the squash is not very young.

14 thoughts on “Yellow Crookneck Squash with Roasted Tomato Sauce

    1. Thank you Claire; yes, I think a green salad on the side, and I can call it done! This year I put in 3 plants and got about 6 good sized squash from each one; I could have got more had I harvested them earlier. This is a variety that will keep producing more if you harvest periodically.

  1. That sauce would do well on lots of things! I am missing my tomatoes terribly as my husband has been told not to eat them….. maybe a batch of this in the frig for me to use when I please 😉

    1. Oh, that must be hard for all of you. Tomatoes are one of those ‘essentials’. I would think a little batch on the side for yourself would be a good idea, and that roasting method is so easy, there’s no reason not to do it! 🙂

  2. Love the look of crookneck squashes! I know my youngest wouldn’t be able to resist adding googly eyes to them though. Your casserole sounds delicious and nurturing, and I’m certain my boys would enjoy it – a liberal scattering of cheese usually wins them over. Your roast tomato sauce sounds excellent. Can’t wait to give it a try. I’m on the lookout for reasons to give my new-ish food processor a whirl!

    1. I love the idea of adding googly eyes to my squashes – how great would that be! I think this idea would work with any squash that you like and it is a very comforting dish. I love the layered flavours. Have fun with that food processor!

  3. So it looks like you didn’t peel the squash – is the skin soft like zuke/courgette? It looks so bumpy…
    You can tell I’ve not encountered this squash yet :).
    I should think with three men in your house, one of them a teenager, you need the biggest chicken you can find, every time!

    1. No, I didn’t peel it, though that would not be a bad idea. It meant cooking it for a lot longer. I love the colour and texture and didn’t want to give that up, I guess! So true about the chicken 🙂

    1. Thank you, Sheryl, that’s so kind. They are kind of fun, but I think this sort of dish would work well with quite a ride variety of squash, so grab what looks fun!

  4. I would love to dig in to that dish this very moment! Tomatoes and squash are my two most loved summer veggies. What a great combination!

    1. Thank you! I have similar feelings about squash and tomatoes, so it was such a natural pairing. And a great way to deal with a whole bunch of them at once!

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