Recipe: The Best Summer Squash Two Ways
- posted on: July 26, 2020
- posted by: Kari Fetrow
At 21 Acres we love summer squash, when you work on a farm you have to find ways to use up the glorious summer bounty from this prolific crop. This week we will virtually visit Farm Market Lead Caroline’s kitchen and share from my own kitchen and show you how we use up that surplus.
“Zucchini has a reputation for being bland, but if it’s caramelized with fish sauce, lots of garlic, and a brightening squeeze of lemon, I could eat it every day. (And considering how quickly it grows in the summer, I might have to.) The key is to slice it thinly and crank up the heat, so it’s able to get some good browning in before it has the chance to completely fall apart.”
“Summer squash is a newer love for me, as a child I couldn’t get past the slimy-mushy texture that sometimes accompanies it. Through a lot of trial and error I learned just how I like to cook zucchini. Browned, but still firm, so cooking them fast is key. My preparation is very similar to Caroline’s, I like to quickly saute small spears in some avocado oil with salt and pepper and when I go to turn the heat off, I add soy sauce. My favorite way to serve them is with a hard boiled egg for an ultra healthy lunch.”
Caroline’s Umami Summer Squash
1 lb. zucchini
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fish sauce
freshly ground pepper
Halve each zucchini lengthwise, then cut crosswise at an angle so you end up with long, thin half-moon shaped slices. Heat olive oil in a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot, add zucchini. Let cook for a minute or two, then begin to stir. Zucchini should be just beginning to turn translucent and brown in parts. Season with a large pinch of sea salt, a few grinds of pepper, and a small pinch of cayenne, if desired, then add garlic and fish sauce. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until zucchini is golden brown and starting to soften. If it starts to steam instead of brown, crank the heat up. Just before pulling off the heat, add lemon juice and more salt to taste.
One of my favorite ways to eat this zucchini is with pasta–toss it with al dente fettucine from Bellingham Pasta Co. and a bit of cooking water, and the flavorful pan ju emulsifies into a beautiful sauce. Finish with a bit of fresh-grated parmesan and enjoy!
Kari’s Quick Summer Squash
1 lb. zucchini
2 tsp avocado oil, butter, or oil of your choice
pinch of salt
pinch or 2 of pepper
1 tsp soy sauce, I like Yamasa Brand
Start by cutting your zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut again lengthwise so that you have 4 spears. If you have a very seedy zucchini cut away the inner seeds (Pro-tip: the inner seeds are what become mushy and slimy, cut it out to eliminate those unwanted textures.) Now cut each spear crosswise 3 or 4 times, depending on how large your zucchini is. Then cut each piece into strips lengthwise 3 times, so that you end up with about 3″ spears. Now start heating a skillet on medium-high heat and add the avocado oil. When the oil is glistening add the zucchini, salt, and pepper. (I am always very generous with the pepper, there are just some veggies, cabbage I’m looking at you, that just work so well with black pepper.) Cook the zucchini for about 3-4 minutes, tossing as needed, I like there to be some darker brown on my zucchini. Once the zucchini have browned to your liking turn the heat off and add the soy sauce. Toss and enjoy!