recipe deliciousness: zucchini, summer squash, almonds, chiles & mint!
Last night I tried out a new recipe to complement an old one. Squash and zucchini are abundant at the farmers markets these days so I wanted to capitalize on that, and afford myself the chance to experiment in the kitchen. I went to my favorite ‘go-to’ website and found, as I always do, a fantastic way to prepare my veggies- Zucchini and Summer Squash with Chili, Mint and Toasted Almonds. Food52 never fails to deliver! Rounding out the meal I thought the brightness of this dish would shine especially well next to a savory favorite of mine, deviled salmon cakes. Last, to add some sweetness to the plate, I sautéed red onion with balsamic and sugar. The trifecta works; the colors and textures present as beautifully as they taste, and you’ll delight in the wonderful complexity of the flavors on your plate!
The recipe for the zucchini and squash dish is copied below for your convenience. Enjoy!*
Zucchini and Summer Squash, with Almonds, Chile and Mint,
by Merrill at Food52
SERVES 4 AS A SIDE DISH
1/4 cup sliced almonds
2 medium zucchini
2 medium yellow squash
1/2 very small red bird chili, seeds removed and finely sliced, or pinch red pepper flakes
2 teaspoons sugar
2 teaspoons sherry vinegar
3 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh mint
Toast the almonds in a pan over medium heat until golden, watching carefully, about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Trim the zucchini and yellow squash and cut each one in half lengthwise, and then in half again, so you have four long quarters. Slice each quarter into 1-inch chunks. Put about 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a wide sauté pan with high sides and set over medium-high heat. When the pan starts to smoke, add the zucchini and squash and a large pinch of salt, and turn the heat up to high. Sauté the squash, tossing frequently, until it’s well-caramelized but still has a bite, about 3 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium and add the chili to the pan. Cook for another minute, tossing occasionally. Sprinkle the sugar and vinegar over the squash and toss to combine. Cook for another minute or so. Turn off the heat and stir in the mint. Taste for seasoning, adding more salt if necessary, and then fold in the almonds. Serve immediately.
A variation: cool the cooked squash and serve at room temperature, shaving some ricotta salata or parmesan over the top.
*Leftovers, if you have any left: The squash and zucchini taste great cold with a sprinkling of parmesan, as suggested in the recipe by Merrill. With that, I heated the salmon cake in the microwave and drizzled on top a dressing of miso/mustard and mayo, and put a poached egg on top, making a sort of benedict. This presentation tastes every bit as good as the first iteration, while still being different enough not to feel like ‘reheated leftovers’. . . yay!