Deborah Madison’s Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone . . .

. . . is my bible up here. Right now, the garden is yielding copious amounts of summer squash. What to do with such abundance?

Last night, I found a great recipe in VCFE for zucchini with garlic and lemon, but I switched the squash and used yellow crookneck instead. Why? Well, because I had just come from the garden with this.

I thought about getting all fancy and making a kind of flan or gratin but, in the end, decided on being simple. I mean, that’s kind of the point up here, right? Anyway, we were having friends over, and I wanted to spend more time on the screened porch sipping cold, white wine and talking with them. Which I did.

So at the last minute before the fish was grilled, I hopped up, went into the kitchen and threw this together while Peggy sat at the counter and we talked girlfriend talk. The guys hung out around the grill. Duh!

Let me just say everyone snarfed the squash down. When it’s fresh from the garden like this squash was—still warm from the sun— there’s no need to gussy things up.

Here’s the recipe:

Six to eight yellow squash depending on the size— roughly four cups—cut into a large dice.
2-4 TBS olive oil ( you decide)
2 lg. garlic cloves sliced
Grated rind of one lemon
Salt and pepper to taste
A little basil chiffonade

1) Swirl the olive oil in a large skillet (I use a 12 inch All-Clad) and when it is fragrant, add the squash.

2) Cook on medium-high, tossing the squash with a spatula from time to time, until the squash is golden and tender.

3) Add the garlic and cook until fragrant (that word again! Gotta use your nose if you want to cook.) Do not burn the garlic !

4) Turn off the heat. Add the grated lemon rind and stir to mix. Taste for salt and pepper. Pour into a pretty bowl and top with the basil.

Actually, I have to be honest. I didn’t add the basil in my dish, because I’d made a basil mustard butter to put on top of the grilled salmon. I knew the basil from that would mingle with the squash, and it did. Yum.

The recipe for the flavored butter comes from the first Silver Palate Cookbook. It’s vintage 1980. Still good, though!

Basil-Mustard Butter for grilled salmon

1 stick softened unsalted butter
1/4 cup Dijon style mustard
1/4 cup roughly chopped fresh basil (mine was right out of the garden!)

Blend mustard and butter.
Add basil and blend again.
Chill slightly. Spoon onto grilled salmon.

Serve with the squash! Some wild rice is nice.

We lit the candles, passed the dishes around and shared a nice bottle of Pinot Noir with this meal.

It had gotten dark, and the cool, mountain air had settled around us, so the red wine was welcome.

Let’s toast to friendship.

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