Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Yellow Squash Pizza

This yellow squash pizza just might have the potential to turn your children on to eating squash.

When my kids were growing up, it was a staple. Assuming that they and their wives have children, I suspect the tradition will carry on. I’m not aware of anywhere else this recipe is served.

Unique Culinary Adventures credits the same source from which was culled an April 21 post "Lobster Salad at its Best." It’s the book Craig Claiborne’s Favorites from The New York Times, which is out of print and after more than 30 years become somewhat obscure. Therein are most or all of the recipes that appeared under that great food writer’s by-line in the New York Times during the year 1974. On the Web can be found mention of similarly titled books with dates of 1976 and 1979, though no information is given as to their contents.

Claiborne’s source was Walter Chandoha, a photographer whose works had appeared on more than 200 magazine covers. However, if Mr. Chandoha never photographed his yellow squash pizza, and no picture of it in the book.

In taking it upon myself to shoot Mr. Chandoha’s squash pizza, I question our imagedid him justice. However, it’s a good visual representation of what I’ve been fixing regularly over the last 30 years---never deviating one iota from the original.

Getting back to the kids for a minute, let me share that when writing about the Chandoha family and several of their favorite recipes, Mr. Claiborne refers to yellow squash pizza as “one of the dishes their children admire most.”


2 yellow squash
¼ cup melted butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 teaspoons or more of oregano
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Trim off the ends of the squash but do not peel them. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and brush with the butter. Cut the squash lengthwise into ¼-inch slices. Arrange the slices on the foil. Brush the slices on one side with butter. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and oregano. Bake the squash about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and run under the broiler to brown.

From Craig Claibornes’ Favorites from The New York Times, Warner Books, New York,