Don’t Let Your Zukes Go To The Dogs

by Susie Middleton
Print Email

zucchiniOur first little zucchinis appeared on the scene yesterday. We picked them, put them out at the farm stand, and someone bought them. Yeah, I know. That won’t last forever. There will come a time, say mid-August, when you won’t be able to give away a summer squash, they’ll be so ubiquitous. Just don’t do what I did a few years ago and try to feed them to your dog. (Poor Gus.) Honestly, there are plenty of delicious things to do with summer squash, and I’m determined to convert a few squash-bashers (that’s you Katie and Eliza) this summer with a couple of my recipes.

The first is a really, really quick (did I say quick?) sauté that requires very little effort to deliver a dish with restaurant-quality good looks and a lovely flavor and texture. The only caveat is that you have to hop yourself over to a housewares or kitchen store and pick up a groovy tool called a hand-held julienne peeler. It’s not expensive (about $6), and is just the coolest thing. Drag it along the outside of a summer squash, and it makes beautiful zucchini “ribbons.” (Use it to make strips of Parmigiano cheese for a salad, too, or to grate beautiful strands of carrots for a salad.)

The zucchini ribbons need only a quick toss in a hot sauté pan to be perfectly cooked—tender, but still al dente (sort of like linguine!). I like to make a little brown butter in the pan first, and to finish these sautés with a squeeze of lemon or lime, a few chopped toasted nuts, and a smattering of chopped bright fresh herbs like mint, cilantro, basil, or tarragon.

 

Zucchini Ribbons With Lime, Garlic, Cilantro & Mint

It takes a few peels to get the hang of the julienne peeler. I like to run the peeler all the way down the length of the squash for the longest pieces, but it’s easier on the fingers to hold the squash at one end and peel half way down and then flip it around and do the same thing. The shorter ribbons are just as pretty as the longer ones.  Whatever you do, discard the core—you want most of your ribbons to have a bit of skin on them for the best texture.

_________________________________________________

1 pound young zucchini or yellow squash, ends trimmed, washed and dried

1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large clove garlic, smashed

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste

2 teaspoons fresh lime juice

2 tablespoons finely chopped toasted pine nuts or toasted sliced almonds

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, mint, or a combination

________________________________________________

Set out a large mixing bowl. Working over the bowl, peel the squash lengthwise with the julienne peeler into thin strips. Work all the way around the squash until you get to the thick seed core. Discard the core. Break the strips up with your hands, as they can tend to clump together.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. When the butter has melted, add the smashed garlic clove and cook, occasionally flattening the garlic clove with a spatula, just until the butter and the garlic clove start to turn a light brown. Remove the garlic. Add the squash strips and the ½ teaspoon kosher salt and cook, tossing with tongs, just until the squash have become pliable, about 1 minute.

Remove the pan from the heat and add the lime juice and most of the chopped nuts and herbs. Toss well. Taste and season with more salt if desired. Serve garnished with remaining nuts and herbs.

Serves 3 to 4 as a side dish

 

Susie Middleton is the author of The Fresh & Green Table (Chronicle Books, June 2012) and Fast, Fresh & GreenI Like Mine Extra-Crispy—Roasted Broccoli (Chronicle Books, April 2010). She is the former Editor and current Editor at Large for Fine Cooking magazine. She lives, writes, cooks, and grows vegetables on Martha's Vineyard. Her blog is at <sixburnersue.com

Add comment


Security code
Refresh

Restaurant News

Saint Martha: A Wine Mecca
Los Angeles
by Maylynn Jakubowski

saintmarthaextIt has been a long time since I have been to a restaurant that actually inspired me to write about it. In the period of time from my last write up, I have been fortunate enough to go to a couple...

Read more...
A Night with Ludo
Los Angeles
by Ben Chinn

ludosign.jpgAfter watching Ludo Lefebvre on Top Chef Masters I knew I wanted try out his food. Around the same time his episode aired he opened up a “pop-up” restaurant at Bread Bar on 3rd St. On Tuesday...

Read more...
The Nugget Diner
Las Vegas
by Scott R. Kline

thenugget.jpgThe Nugget Diner in Reno, Nevada represents much of what Reno is all about. From a run down strip near downtown Reno, one enters through the gaudy exterior, which portrays a nugget of gold...

Read more...
Autumn in New York
New York
by Michael Tucker

chicken-wings-300x300The weather turned yesterday.

The air was suddenly, blissfully free of the sodden end-of-summer heaviness and the scent of August — that heady perfume of sixteen million sweaty feet in sandals —...

Read more...