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.
Your summer squash would be great in a sandwich with a hummus spread.
So true! That sounds delicious, I will have to try that next time.
i wish we could live closer to each other. then i could befriend you and get to taste some of these beautiful dishes! :) i promise i’d share some of my yummy pumpkin bread and soup creations with you in exchange…
I wish we did too! I love the efficiency of a good potluck. :)
You have to love any recipe with “drink a glass of wine” somewhere in the instructions. :) Squash with garlic is one of my favorites–why have I never thought to to add feta before? Thanks for the great idea!
Maybe you don’t stockpile feta like I do? Which is why I put it in everything. Well, that and it’s salty. :)
That is absolutely gorgeous – Karen is right, it would make a great sarnie.
Sarnie? I love it, I feel like I’m learning a whole new language from you! :)
Mmmmmmmm…..WE LOVE SEATTLE!
I love Seattle too, although it’s not the greatest for growing warm-weather veggies. I know that you empathize! :)
Wow….I’ve never liked squash but that feta is changing my mind!
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Mmm, this sounds good. I’m thinking I might like to throw a bit of minced red chile pepper in there too, for extra colour and zing! Got a kick out of the top ten things to do with zucchini. I expect to start seeing boatloads of zucchini coming into the office any day now, from co-workers desperate to offload their over-abundance!
I like the idea of adding red chile! We sometimes have this with spicy Mexican food and it’s a great combination, so I bet it would be good spiced up itself.
Also good over pasta with some olive oil and ricotta instead of feta (or just keep the feta if you don’t mind fusion).
Yes! Especially if you are the sort of exceptional cook who makes his own ricotta (recipe here, readers: http://stefangourmet.com/2012/07/25/home-made-ricotta/)! I have been meaning to make excuses to you for my feta obsession and here are they are: 1) I grocery shop as rarely as possible (YOU try taking three kids to the store), 2) brined feta keeps forever, so 3) I always have feta in my fridge so just use it in everything. Thank you for being so tolerant of the Greek/Italian fusion cooking, and feel free to substitute ricotta any time! :)
Your feta fetish did inspire me to make a ‘Greek’ pasta salad with feta some weeks ago — I was surprised you didn’t comment ;-) I went to the Turkish store specially to get the feta, since I can’t stand the supermarket stuff, and it was actually quite good.
No need to make excuses. Most of my friends with children who used to cook as a hobby have all but stopped, so I admire you very much for all of the cooking that you do while being a mom of three! I don’t have any children to worry about, and have a husband to clean up after me in the kitchen. And no, I won’t try taking a kid to the store, let alone three…
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