We’ve been picking zucchini, squash and squash blossoms for the past two weekends here in California (Santa Barbara to be exact), and there’s nothing that says summer mroe than stuffing a squash blossom or creating a dish out of the meat of the stuff. David Tanis lets us in on his zucchini and squash blossom sufflee recipe.
Suddenly it is summer at the market. Make a wish for a summer vegetable or fruit and most likely it is there. Shaded tents now brim with green beans, tomatoes, eggplant, even corn. More stalls are piled with cherries and red currants and peaches and tiny sweet strawberries.
But the summer squash appeals to me most: zucchini and its cousins, Pattypan, Yellow crookneck and Ronde de Nice.
My mother’s Midwestern city kitchen didn’t really feature fresh vegetables, only fresh-frozen, so zucchini was never an option our table. Upon leaving home, visiting a small farm in rural California, I tasted freshly picked summer squash, steamed with butter and fresh dill. It was a revelation. So much better than anything called zucchini that I had experienced, and perfectly cooked, not too soft.
Photo credit: Karsten Moran for The New York Times
Credit Karsten Moran for The New York Times
To make that simple steamed zucchini, put the chopped squash in a shallow sauce pan with an inch of water, a pat of butter and a pinch of salt. Cook rapidly, covered, for five minutes, until just done, and a fork easily pierces the flesh. Serve it sprinkled with freshly chopped dill or basil and some of the buttery juices.