Summer Squash Surplus – Cary Downtown Farmers Market | Cary, North Carolina

Summer Squash Surplus

Chef’s Corner

Article & Recipes by Mitch Samples


Father’s Day is almost upon us!  Father’s Day is almost upon us!

For me this day serves as a harbinger for a rush of celestial events, holidays and celebrations soon to come.  Just this week I will celebrate my mother-in-law’s birthday, my father’s birthday, the first day of summer and the 23rd trip around the sun with Jacquie Samples as my amazing wife and partner in crime.

So, what do these events all have to do with one another. . . absolutely nothing.  Apparently, though I require some sort of mnemonic device to remember anything these days, and Father’s Day serves this purpose well.

Just so, this rush of holidays with all their shapes and forms, different levels direct import upon me and my psyche, what do they portend?  Why, the ubiquity of summer squash in all it’s shapes and forms and different levels of direct import on me, of course.  And we would do well not to forget the ubiquity of summer squash.

You know how it goes.  It starts with one.  The first small one of the summer.  It’s so special.  It’s so good.  But by mid-July it becomes, “Oh my, what are we going to do with these things!?!?”.

For this reason, I offer the following recipes and will try to add more to your arsenal throughout the season so you can keep things fresh and exciting.

One quick note: the following recipes all say zucchini, but any summer squash with suffice.  I just like to say the word zucchini.

Zucchini Salad

2 medium zucchini, shredded, spriralized or julienne cut

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved

6-8 OZ Kalamata olives, drained & halved

6 ounces feta, crumbled, Paradox Farms preferred

2 TBS fresh dill, roughly chopped

1 lemon’s worth of zest and juice

1 TBS extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste



  • Prepare all dry items and toss in a large salad bowl.
  • Mix lemon juice, zest and oil in a small bowl
  • Pour the dressing over the dry ingredients, toss well, and adjust seasoning.


Grilled Zucchini

 Large zucchini, the grillers from Barnes Farm are perfect for this …

1-2 TBS olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste


  • Slice zucchini about a half inch thick.
  • Toss slices in olive oil and seasoning
  • Grill over high heat just as you would a chicken breast

Feel free to add any herbs or seasonings to your oil and make this recipe your own


Sautéed Zucchini with Carrots and Onion, Southwest Style

1 large squash, cut into half coins about ¼ inch thick

2 to 3 small carrots cut into rounds about 1/8 inch thick

1 large onion, red, white or green, sometimes all 3, about 1 cup total, diced or chopped

2 TBS extra virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon cumin
1/2 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or more to taste
1/8 cup olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced


  • Cut all veggies and set aside
  • Mix the last 6 ingredients in a bowl and set aside
  • Heat a large skillet on high
  • When it’s hot, add the veggies and sauté until the carrots are just tender and ther is some good color on the squash.
  • Pour in the seasoning mixture
  • Cook on high heat until the sauce is reduced by half
  • Season to taste

All the major ingredients for these recipes can be purchased at the Cary Downtown Farmers Market from Parker Farms, Paradox Farm, Barnes, and Howell.  Trust me, they will taste better too.

Lastly, you only had to put up with this article, so if you see my amazing bride please wish her the very happiest of anniversaries, and wish her luck for the next 23!!

Open Saturdays | Dec-Mar: 9a.m. - Noon | April-Nov: 8a.m. - Noon | 135 W. Chatham St., Cary, NC