Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Summer Bounty: Easy Squash

Dear Readers,

With the small respite from the heat wave, I finally got back into the kitchen. Sometimes it's too hot to turn on the stove. You know what I'm saying.

Last night I was enjoying a lovely dinner with my co-blogger Kitty and the Rob. We were having a chuckle at my recent RAMPSCAPE debacle, discussing brisket injuries and trying to rediscover our enthusiasm for the proposed epic battle "Potato versus Rice" (now dinner is a write-off, right Kitty?) when our friend Hollister popped in to have a glass of wine with us while we were finishing up our meal. While we were chatting, she asked if we could write a post that is "really easy". Now readers, I want to apologize if we haven't been living up to our desired mission- "to make cooking easy fun and delicious", and assure you that most of what we post here, if we've tagged it as "easy" is stuff that you are all perfectly capable of doing.

If you feel uncertain, or don't spend a lot of time in a kitchen, then you just need to get in there and give things a try. Cooking is easy if you feel comfortable doing it, knowing that even if you don't do something *exactly* as described, it will all be ok. For my part, I will try to explain things more clearly and in a more step-wise fashion. If you guys have any questions or requests, please leave them in the comments section, I know both Kitty and I would be more than happy to respond. We LOVE feedback!

And with that, here is a super easy recipe. I got home after dinner, fully weighed down by a big bag of CSA veggies. I didn't know exactly what I had in there, but I've been on a good roll of prepping next days lunch the night before, and I figured there would be something from the CSA that could become Monday's lunch. lo and behold, there was a zucchini and a summer squash, and I even had a zucchini in the fridge from 2 weeks ago that while a little sad, was perfectly usable. I also had onions and garlic in the cupboard. I was all set.

I started by:

Rough-chopping an onion and about 5 cloves of garlic (you do NOT have to use 5 cloves. you can use 1. or 10. whatever you like). By "rough-chop" I basically quartered the onion, cut each quarter in half (so i eigthed it) and then cut those 1/8ths into smaller pieces. I ran a knife through the garlic so it was in small chunks.

I heated about 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large frying pan, and when it was hot, I added the onions and garlic, turning the heat down to between medium-high and high, sprinkling with a little salt and pepper.

While the onions and garlic cooked down a bit, I cut the 1 small, 1 large zucchini and 1 small squash into half-rounds. I sliced the squash lengthwise down the middle, and then chopped these into 1/4-1/2 inch width pieces. I also had a small tomato that was starting to go, so i rough-chopped that as well.

After about 5 minutes of cooking the onions and garlic (or whenever you are done chopping the squash) add the squash and tomato to the pan and turn the heat down a little bit.

I added a little crushed red pepper to the pan, as I wanted it to have a little kick, as well as a few shakes of dried basil and oregano. I used a wooden spoon to stir the squash every few minutes.

I then saw a lone can of diced tomatoes on the counter that I had taken out to use in my pasta-sauce that never got added. I let the squash cook for about 4-5 minutes, and then i added the can of diced tomatoes.

I ended up with a nice vegetarian side dish that was done in under 30 minutes, and was really nice to take to work for lunch. This is an easy recipe because the ingredient quantity and cooking timing are very flexible. you don't have to worry about overcooking the onion and garlic, and when you stir the squash every few minutes, you get a good feel for how cooked the squash is (how soft does it feel/look) and can take it off the flame when it's the done-ness at which you prefer your squash. So give it a shot, and let me know how it goes!


1 comment:

  1. So many responses:

    - potatoes v rice: taking my earrings out as we speak

    - rampscape: loved that movie with dennis quaid invading people's dreams via a ramp

    - love the photo of the can that i feel is quietly singing "one is the loneliest number"... idk i just feel like the can is singing that, don't judge me

    - other, slightly less insane-sounding things that escape me right now.. Kitty out.