The humble summer squash, and its greener cousin the zucchini, are great foods to cook with. Delicately flavored, they easily take on the tastes of their seasonings. A low-carb food, all parts of the young squash are edible. With some older squashes, the ones known affectionately as “baseball bats” to gardeners, you need to peel and seed them.
These foods are high in fiber and low in calories. One cup of cooked summer squash has only 36 calories, 8 grams of carbohydrate, and 3 grams of fiber. That is just 5 grams of net carbs for a whole cup of delicious vegetable! Summer squash are a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamins B6 and B2. Folate, manganese and potassium are also well represented within this vegetable. With all of their nutritional components, who knew that they could be turned into yummy burgers?
After you make your Summer Squash Burgers, dress them to suit yourself. Below the recipe are some ideas for variations that I thought of; what are your ideas?
Summer Squash Burger Recipe
Makes about 6 burgers.
2 medium summer squash (2 1/4 cups when it is finely chopped with onion and cilantro)
¼ cup fresh cilantro
2 green onions (both green and white parts)
½ teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoning Salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs
½ cup mashed potato flakes
1/3 cup Parmesan Romano chesse (I used Kraft.)
¼ cup Fage Greek yogurt
Extra virgin olive oil to fry (Enough to be 1/4 to 1/2 inch deep in your pan.)
Optional crumb coating
3 cups of Orowheat cornbread stuffing processed into crumbs (Or use your favorite type of crumbs.)
¼ cup buttermilk or milk (I used buttermilk.)
Method for burgers:
Chop the squash and green onions into chunks, add with the cilantro into the bowl of the food processor. Use the chopping blade. Process by pulsing. It took me about 6 bursts of about 3 seconds each. You want the processed squash to be about the size of the pieces of cabbage in coleslaw from a fast food restaurant. Do not over process. You don’t want mush! Pour the squash mixture into a large bowl. Add the seasoning salt, pepper, garlic powder, Italian bread crumbs, potato flakes, and cheese. Mix gently with your hands.
In a small bowl, add the yogurt and stir it. Then, add the egg and stir until the yogurt and egg are thoroughly mixed. Use a rubber scraper to get all of the egg and yogurt mixture poured into the squash mix. Stir until it is evenly distributed, then start mixing the burger mix with your hands. This helps to release the liquid from the squash into the burger mixture. When you work the mixture with your hands it starts to hold together. If you do not have enough liquid in the mix, add another tablespoon of yogurt. Mix with your hands. You want the squash burgers to hold together, but you do not want the mix to be really wet. Divide the mix and shape it to fit your bread. For hoagies, I make long slender burgers. The burgers are round for hamburger buns.
Pour oil into your skillet ¼ to ½ inch deep, depending on the thickness of your squash burgers, and heat on high until a small piece of squash burger mix that you place in the skillet sizzles. Carefully add the squash burger. Don’t over crowd them; they need at least ½ inch between them. You may need to make two batches. Lower the heat to medium. Cook 5 to 6 minutes per side. Turn when the side that is frying looks dark golden brown. They are crispy when cooked this way.
Optional Crumb Coating Method
Beat the egg together with the buttermilk in a broad, shallow bowl. Add the crumbs to another broad shallow bowl. Line a large platter with waxed paper.
Choose a hand to be your wet hand and the other hand will be your dry hand. Then, carefully dip the uncooked squash burger into the egg mixture. Then, place the burger into crumb mixture with your wet hand. Use your dry hand to pile and press crumbs onto the burger. Use your dry hand to remove the crumb crusted squash burger from the crumbs. Place it onto the waxed paper.
Let the breaded burgers stand on a platter lined with a piece of waxed paper for about 10-15 minutes to allow the breading to adhere to the squash burgers.
Pour oil into your skillet ¼ to ½ inch deep, depending on the thickness of your squash burgers, and heat on high until a small piece of squash burger mix that you place in the skillet sizzles. Carefully add the squash burger. Don’t over crowd them; they need at least ½ inch between them. Lower the heat to medium. Cook 5 to 6 minutes per side. Turn when the side that is cooking has breading that looks dark golden brown. Be sure to use your spatula to loosen the squash burger when you turn it or take it out of the oil. It takes 5-6 minutes per side to cook the squash burgers. Cook them until they are completely dark golden brown on each side. Caution: If you are using the cornbread stuffing crumbs, watch them carefully to make sure that they don’t burn. Turn the heat down to medium-low if they are browning too quickly.
Variations on bread and condiments:
Hamburger bun or sandwich thin—Add American cheese, yellow mustard, catsup, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, sweet onion and dill pickles.
Orowheat Oat Nut, Double Fiber breads or any high-quality sliced bread—Dress your sandwich with Ranch dressing or mayonnaise, sliced sweet onions, tomatoes, and lettuce.
Hoagie or hot dog bun—Top the burger with shredded Italian cheese, your favorite spaghetti sauce, basil leaves, and thinly sliced sweet onions and mini-peppers.
Flour tortilla wrap or pita—Add shredded lettuce, tomatoes, onions, peppers, and cucumber sauce to your squash burger.
Crispy corn taco shell—Crumble your burger into the shell. Add shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa. One burger makes 2-3 tacos.
These scrumptious squash burgers are a solid nutritional value. They are easy to make and a frugal value. Summer Squash Burgers are created from low-cost ingredients that are readily found in most peoples’ kitchens. Let us know how you like them. Post your serving variations in the BellaOnline Sandwiches Forum.
When I mention products by brand name, these are the ones that I use. I have not received free products from the manufacturers, nor have I been paid to mention the products by name.
A food processor is a big investment. Our KitchenAid has seen about 10 years of hard service, and it still chops and mixes like a champ! This saves me time and allows me to do more with my day.
KitchenAid KFP740CR 9-Cup Food Processor with 4-Cup Mini Bowl, Chrome