Oh happy day — midsummer has arrived, and all my favorite foods like peaches and sweet corn are now in season. My life is finally complete. I thought I’d celebrate with a confetti of those things, splayed across a delicate-tasting canvas of fresh flounder fillets. Nothing too crazy at this party, except for that crack-pow-pop! like fireworks in the sky of flavor–juicy, crisp, tender and sweet. Man, I wish the Fourth of July came a little later into the summer … Read More
I can never really get bored with cooking zucchini and other summer squash when they’re fresh, firm and in season. I generally grab a couple bright, cheerful varieties any given time I’m at the farmers’ market all summer, but this often leaves me with a surplus of squashes that aren’t so terribly awesome-looking later in the week. But a few age spots on the outsides doesn’t mean they’re any more austere; I went ahead and baked these ones, in a … Read More
I got the most interesting heirloom summer squashes the other day at the Greenmarket. Warted, striped, crook-necked, and very heavy for their size and dense in flesh, I didn’t think it too appropriate to make something just “everyday” with them. No, these specimens deserved the spotlight for a seasonal side dish of their own.
There are two very different cousins of the squash and melon family working together here. One is seldom cooked (and seldom should be), and one is most commonly cooked to some degree, usually on a hot grill in the summer. They are strikingly similar in appearance and easy to confuse; they are both harvested amply during the same time (mid-summer). They aren’t often served together in a dish, but here take off their fighting gloves and go with one preparation … Read More
Ratatouille is a soothing meal to enjoy on warm nights or as a light lunch (or brunch, topped with a poached egg). To me, it simply spells summer; common ingredients are zucchini and summer squashes, eggplant, peppers and tomatoes. To many, it epitomizes simply country fare from France, or brings to mind a children’s film of the same name. Since it’s a flexible dish of peasant origin, you can improvise with the ingredients used, and add any favorites of your … Read More
What a delight to find zucchini so early in the season at the Greenmarket last weekend. There was just one small crate of them at Grand Army Plaza early in the morning, and I snagged two ripe ones with shiny, lizard-green skins that appeared to be stretched across their juicy flesh like balloons. With such prime, squeaky-fresh zucchini like this, I don’t even want to cook them. I just want to slip a knife through them, and toss the lime … Read More
I had guests over for dinner last weekend and came up with a five-person entree on the fly. I’d zoomed through the Greenmarket, picking up a pint of multi-colored cherry tomatoes, a firm eggplant, and a couple small, pattypan squashes. These all went into a pasta with a hearty portion of Italian sausage from Flying Pigs Farm for the meat-eaters in the crowd. We all loved it. Loved how the dish was colorfully studded with well-sized chunks ‘o stuff. Loved … Read More
Zucchini and summer squashes are so versatile, and so various in size, color and shape, that they’re endlessly fun to create with. From pattypan to eight ball-shaped globes of delicate flesh, we’ve come to see a lot more heirloom types of these over the last few years, thanks to farmers who’ve saved their seeds. This recipe can be made with any of them, sliced thinly and arranged in layers to stand in for lasagna sheets — and soak in all … Read More
Stuffed with what, it really matters little. Do a crab dip type thing, spinach, bacon or pancetta, or this: lots of herbs with breadcrumbs, onion, and the scooped-out squash sauteed first. Sprinkle cheese on top before roasting, or not. Or stuff it with “surprise,” what happened to that fun tradition? The object is using the summer squash — particularly the rounder species, like these lovely eight-ball varieties just in season — in ways we haven’t before.