Of all the foods that land on my grill, summer squashes top the list. Tossed simply with olive oil, salt and pepper, grilled zucchini and crooknecks star in some of the most delicious pastas and sandwiches I’ve made — though more often than not, they end up in a stack on my dinner plate, no accompaniment necessary.
But I’m beginning to think my squashes need a break from the grill. High heat brings out their light nuttiness, but sometimes I crave the subtlety of the first raw zucchini bite I take as I’m slicing it.
I’ve been inspired by the following three recipes, which feature summer squash raw, fried and baked in innovative dishes.
|Squash, Mint and Ricotta Salata SaladWhen summer squash is presented in long, thin ribbons, its delicate flavor stands out. Try eating them in place of wide noodles like pappardelle in a pasta dish for a light meal or vegetable side.
|Zucchini Fritters with Herbed YogurtTangy yogurt sauce gives this appetizer a kick, and the folded and fried zucchini slices make a nice substitution for pita chips.
|Poblano Chilies Stuffed with Black Beans and Summer SquashStuffed peppers are a standard dish, but I love how this recipe uses beans and fresh squash instead of the traditional filling of meat and potatoes. Consider it a veggie burrito without the tortilla, roasted to perfection with a sprinkle of Parmesan.
About the author: Olivia Terenzio grew up in Mississippi, where she cultivated a love of sweet potatoes, crawfish and cloth napkins at a young age. A passion for sharing food with friends and family led her into the kitchen and later to culinary school, where she learned how to roast a chicken and decorate a cake like a pro. As a Williams-Sonoma blog editor, she’s now lucky enough to be talking, writing and thinking about food all day.