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Market Watch: How Boxing Room's Chef Justin Simoneaux Uses Summer Squash

Market Watch

Boxing Room's Chef Justin Simoneaux

Summer squash can be found all over the Ferry Plaza Farmer Market this month, and whether you prefer the elegant yellow Crookneck, the squat and spherical Ronde de Nice, or the flat and ridged Flying Saucer variety, you’ll find no shortage of ways to use them in your summer meals.

Chef Justin Simoneaux of The Boxing Room shared his love of summer squash in a recent demo in the CUESA Classroom. On his current menu, you’ll find warm zucchini bread; grilled corn, Padrón peppers and mixed summer squash tossed in pesto; and a shaved squash and Mirliton salad with cherry tomatoes and frisée.

Justin told me that while he doesn’t have one favorite variety, he is specific about how he selects which ones to use on his New Orleans-influenced menu. “I typically go for small- to medium-sized squash that feel slightly heavy for their size and have a bright shiny skin. I’ll use them in raw salads,” he said.

The larger the squash, the more fibrous it is, he explained, so smaller is better for any raw squash preparation. Larger squash can be pickled or used for breads or soups. For a taste of raw squash, try Justin’s recipe for Creole Remoulade with Shrimp and Summer Squash.

Summer squash will be abundant at the Ferry Plaza Farmer Market through mid-October. If you want additional inspiration for how to prepare them, look no further than the new CUESA website. We’ve improved the site’s search tools to help you search for recipes by season, ingredient or course, and updated our seasonality charts. You can also find get a list of all the varieties of squash available at the farmers market and which of our farmers grow them.