Five zucchini-based recipes to try this week


By Emily Weinstein, The New York Times

Two weeks ago, we talked about tomatoes. Last week, we did corn. And so I realized it only makes sense to complete the peak-summer series and tackle zucchini this week. (This little ingredient series has turned out to be my “Godfather” trilogy, my Ring cycle, my “Chronicles of Narnia.”)

While zucchini doesn’t quite inspire the same rabid obsession you see with tomatoes and corn, I do love it, and in summer I always have some in the fridge. It’s delicious grilled and then piled with herbs and lemon. It’s phenomenal shredded and then caramelized in a pan to make a smushy sauce for pasta. It makes amazing muffins and quick bread. If you haven’t thought about it lately, I think you should.

1. Summer Squash Scampi

A summer squash scampi, a new recipe from Ali Slagle, which means it's bathed in the garlicky butter-lemon sauce best known for its role in Italian American shrimp scampi. That sauce goes perfectly with juicy fresh zucchini, and all of it can be tossed with pasta for dinner. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. (Armando Rafael/ The New York Times)
A summer squash scampi, a new recipe from Ali Slagle, which means it’s bathed in the garlicky butter-lemon sauce best known for its role in Italian American shrimp scampi. That sauce goes perfectly with juicy fresh zucchini, and all of it can be tossed with pasta for dinner. Food Stylist: Simon Andrews. (Armando Rafael/ The New York Times)

By Ali Slagle

While scampi is a type of crustacean (also known as langoustines), the word has also come to refer to the garlicky lemon-butter sauce that drapes shrimp at Italian American restaurants. But what if you lost the shellfish altogether? When summer squash is sliced and cooked only part way, they have a juicy snap similar to shrimp, no mushiness. This rendition also maintains the lively flavors of garlic and lemon, which are only slightly mellowed by the residual heat of the sauce. Eat with pasta or crusty bread, or as a side dish to any summery meal.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 pounds zucchini or other summer squash, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal)
  • Neutral oil, such as grapeseed or canola
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and cold
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice (from half a lemon)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, mint or basil leaves (or 1/2 tablespoon chopped tarragon leaves)

Preparation

1. Arrange the squash in a single layer and sprinkle with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Let sit for 10 minutes (and no more than 30). Pat dry with a kitchen towel or paper towel.

2. In a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high, heat a thin layer of oil (about 1 tablespoon). Add a single layer of squash, salted sides down. Cook, without flipping, until browned underneath, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer to a platter or large plate, and repeat with the remaining squash, adding more oil as necessary. Sprinkle with garlic and red-pepper flakes.

3. With the empty skillet over medium-high heat, add the white wine (stand back as it may flame). Simmer until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the butter and shake the skillet until the butter melts and combines with the wine into a smooth sauce. Remove skillet from the heat, add the lemon juice and shake to combine. Season to taste with salt, then pour over the squash. Top with the parsley and serve warm.

2. Grilled Zucchini With Miso Glaze

By Hetty McKinnon

This dish plays on the sweetness and fruitiness of plump zucchini. Scoring the flesh in a crisscross pattern creates crevices for the miso glaze to seep into while also allowing the heat to penetrate the zucchini. Cooked quickly on high heat, the squash maintains its shape and heft, with flesh that is just tender enough. Covering the zucchini with a lid during cooking locks in all the moisture, ensuring that it becomes juicy. A grill pan is ideal for achieving smoky char marks, but you could also use a regular skillet or cook it on an outdoor grill (see tip). If you are cooking for a group, count on one zucchini per person. Serve this as a side dish or with rice for a simple, quick and flavorful meal.

Yield: 4 servings

Total time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 4 zucchini (about 2 pounds), washed and halved lengthwise
  • 3 tablespoons white miso paste
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • Neutral oil, such as vegetable or grapeseed (or nonstick spray)
  • White or brown rice, for serving (optional)
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, trimmed and finely sliced
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for serving

Preparation

1. Using a sharp knife (a small paring knife works best), score the zucchini flesh in a crisscross pattern, taking care not to slice all the way through.

2. Make the glaze: In a small bowl, combine the miso paste, mirin, sugar and soy sauce. Add 1 tablespoon of water and whisk until combined.



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