ONE FOR THE TABLE: Don't let your zukes go to the dogs
Our first little zucchinis appeared on the scene a couple weeks ago. We picked them, put them out at the farm stand, and someone bought them.
Yeah, I know. That won't last forever. By late August, I 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 this summer.
This recipe is a really, really quick (did I say quick?) saute 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.)
The zucchini ribbons need only a quick toss in a hot saute 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 sautes 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 and Mint
Serves 3 to 4 as a side dish.
1 pound young zucchini or yellow squash, ends trimmed, washed and dried
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 large clove garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste