Big Girls, Test Kitchen: Summer Squash
DISHES: Squash Chips with Basil and Balsamic Drizzle; Patty-pan Squash Sauté
MAIN INGREDIENTS: Squash, Basil
When squash season comes around the bend, it truly feels like summer. I end up coming home to my kitchen with baskets full of all types of varieties. But when it comes to actually cooking them, I never really want to do much at all. When the ingredients are beautiful, as is always the case with any farmer’s market variety of yellow squash come July, I usually just prepare a very simple dish with olive oil, a hit of lemon or vinegar, good salt, and a fresh herb, torn or chopped rustically, to give a brightness to the dish.
Below are two recipes (or preparations, rather) that I’ve used for my summer squash so far this season. Roasting makes the squash slightly crispy, dense, and intensely squash flavored. Sauteeing them gives them a delicious silkiness. You can use any herb you want, but I always find that basil screams summer like no other.
From my kitchen, albeit small, to yours,
Phoebe, THE QUARTER-LIFE COOK
Makes 2 appetizer or side servings
2 medium squash, thinly sliced (on a mandolin or by hand)
coarse sea salt
handful basil, torn
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Arrange the thinly sliced squash on a baking sheet. Season with salt, drizzle with olive oil, and toss together so all the pieces are evenly coated. Spread as evenly as possible (there will be some overlap) and place in the oven.
Arrange on a plate and season with coarse salt. Using your thumb over the bottle top, drizzle a little balsamic over the chips, and garnish with some torn fresh basil.
Patty-Pan Squash Sauté
Makes 3-4 servings
2 lbs Patty pan squash, scrubbed until clean, and cut into thick slices
1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup basil leaves, chopped
In a large Dutch oven or sauté pan with a lid, heat the olive oil over a medium flame. Sauté the onion until translucent. Add the squash, season it with salt, and continue to cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until it begins to soften.
When the squash is nearly done (soft, but not falling apart), add the basil and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, and serve warm.