Have you ever heard of Ronde de Nice Squash? I hadn’t, that is until I went to our local farmers market last Saturday.
I love our local farmers market especially this time of year. What an array of fresh fruits and vegetables that are available. It seems like every time I go I learn something new. This last time I was introduced to a wonderful member of the squash family called Ronde de Nice Squash.
Ronde de Nice Squash looks a lot like acorn squash but slightly smaller in size. I asked the farmer to tell me what it tastes like and how to cook it. She told me that it’s very similar to zucchini. She said I could grill it or I could scoop some of it out and add ingredients such as ground beef, rice and chopped vegetables and bake it. Another shopper heard my question and suggested that I marinate it and grill it. Ultimately that’s what I decided to do.
I always get excited when I learn a new cooking technique or try a new food. I was pleasantly surprised with this member of the squash family. So let’s talk Ronde de Nice Squash.
Lesson Learned 1 – This squash is much easier to cut than an acorn squash: I was not prepared for how easy this squash was to cut. I thought it would be hard like an acorn squash but the skin is much thinner on this squash. When you cut into it, the flesh looks very similar so zucchini as you can see from the picture below.
There is no need to seed it – the seeds are very small and quite soft just like a newly ripened small zucchini. I removed the stem on top and cut each half into half and then cut slices that were approximately 1/2 inch thick. I found that using this thickness made the squash stand up beautifully to the grilling process.
Lesson Learned 2 – Marinate the slices for at least 2 hours: You can use any type of marinade you like with this squash. I chose a simple Italian dressing marinade. Marinate the squash for at least two hours in the refrigerator, turning the squash over at regular intervals to make sure all pieces are evenly marinated. I kept my squash marinating for 4 hours and the flavor really came through when it was grilled.
Lesson Learned 3 – Your grilling time may vary: Your grilling time will depend on how you like your squash, crisp tender or soft. I wanted mine crisp tender and so I grilled my squash for 15 minutes. As with ovens, no two grills are alike. Know your grill and determine your best cooking time from there. I use a gas grill but if you use a charcoal grill I would recommend putting these slices outside of the hottest areas on the grill. Otherwise you may burn them before you cook them.
I love it when I try new foods and it turns out great. Go ahead, be adventurous. It doesn’t take much. And try this recipe. I know you’ll love it!
Grilled Ronde de Nice Squash
1 Ronde de Nice Squash, cut in quarters
1 cup marinade, (I used Italian dressing)
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Cut squash in half. Remove the stem and cut the halves into half. Cut 1/2 inch slices from the quarter pieces.
Place pieces in a plastic bag. Pour the marinade over the squash. Seal the bag and turn it several times to ensure the marinade is reaching all of the pieces. Place on a flat surface in the refrigerator. Marinate the squash for a minimum of 2 hours regularly turning the bag over so all pieces are evenly marinated.
Heat your grill to medium heat (on a gas grill the heat was between 350-400). Place slices on the grill. Turn slices over halfway through the cooking time (for crisp tender the cooking time is 15 minutes). Do not move the slices until they are ready to be turned.
Remove the slices from the grill. Serve immediately.