I’m no Cheryl-style desperado when it comes to dispatching zucchini. In fact, I’m kind of pleasantly surprised when they come my way. The squash plants in my garden are despondent and I think they may have given up for the year, so I’m glad to be getting a weekly bag of bitty squash (with flowers!) from the warm side of the mountains in my CSA box.
I know that most of you are in a different boat, though, so I thought I’d share my favorite method for cutting zucchini down to size. This recipe (once again inspired by Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone) cooks a big pile of squash into submission all at once. The resulting dish–sweet, herbal, salty, tender–makes a fine hot or cold salad on its own, but it’s also dandy tucked into tacos, tossed with pasta, or spread onto a summertime pizza.Summer Squash with Feta and Fresh Herbs: Thinly slice a few cloves of garlic and warm them in olive oil in a wide pan over medium-low heat without letting the garlic brown. Start slicing your zucchini and/or other summer squash into 1/8″ slices. Transfer the slices to the pan in batches, stirring occasionally. The bottom layer of squash should take on a little bit of golden color before you stir; you may have to adjust the heat to keep the squash from getting too brown. Don’t add salt yet because you want the squash to retain its moisture as it cooks. Keep slicing zucchini and adding it to the pan. When you are finally done slicing, drink a glass of wine and do some other projects in the kitchen while the zucs continue to cook. Choose and chop up a few big handfuls of soft herbs. Tonight I used parsley, dill and cilantro, (including the flowers and my favorite part, the bright green seedpods); basil, chives, and edible flowers are all nice additions as well.
When the zucchini coins are tender and golden in spots (and some will have cooked down to mush), season to taste with salt and transfer to a bowl. Stir in those chopped herbs and top with a handful of crumbled feta cheese.