Summer squash has the range

I was amazed by the summer squash at the market this weekend – table after table of long yellow and green zucchini with drooping, unkemp...

I was amazed by the summer squash at the market this weekend – table after table of long yellow and green zucchini with drooping, unkempt blossoms still attached; small pancake molds, honeycombed all around; and lumpy tangles of goosenecks. I opted for shiny skin zucchini and ate them raw, cooked and extremely cooked.

That’s the beauty of a good summer squash: it’s delicious every step of the way. Raw, it’s delicate and elastic, absorbing the flavors of everything it touches. When cooked, it is as sweet as cut melon, and its texture changes. Sarah Jampel’s farro marinated zucchini is such a brilliant recipe because it showcases the zucchini range.

While the farro and chickpeas are simmering, attack the zucchini, cut half into thicker slices to brown them in olive oil and cut the rest into ribbons to leave them raw. It’s all mixed in the same delicious dressing, and while it’s simple, it reminds me of great restaurant dishes that exemplify the multidimensional beauty of a single ingredient.

If you want to cook squash further than that, Ali Slagle’s caramelized zucchini pasta is a sort of magic trick, turning kilos of raw, grated zucchini into a cup or two of pure, delicious and versatile gold. Double the recipe and use the leftover spread for all kinds of other snacks.

For example:

tortilla + caramelized zucchini + fresh squash blossoms + quesillo + salsa macha drizzle, squeezed into a hot pan until crispy

Pie crust + caramelized zucchini + chopped candied lemon + blanched asparagus, cooked until golden, then covered with mint leaves and olive oil

thick slice of sourdough + caramelized zucchini + white beans + basil leaves + county slice to cover, broil until bubbly

If you don’t want to light the stove, you can build a meal around Leitizia Mattiacci raw zucchini salad. Use a mandolin or simply lay the zucchini on a cutting board and pull out a peeler to make ribbons – flexible and thin. (But not too much, too thin, as raw squash is spongy and the very delicate, transparent slices can quickly get slippery and wet!) Add crumbled feta or parmesan shavings, toasted pine nuts or coarsely chopped almonds , chili oil and lemon zest, herbs or pickled shallots. It’s very simple too.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Summer squash has the range
Summer squash has the range
Newsrust - US Top News
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