Summer (squash) Lovin': Vegetable Preparations, part 4


Post by Alexandra!
Very soon, I'm going to write a series on exercise.  Right now it's winter and I've been in the kitchen a lot, so you are getting FOOD.  Heh.
This is another super-simple, super-cheap veggie dish, and this one comes straight from my tween years back in the woods of South Georgia.  What do you need?
  • 6 to 8 yellow crookneck squash, a.k.a. summer squash
  • one large onion, sweet or not, but in my house it's a Maya or Vidalia or Walla Walla or Maui
  • one large frying pan or electric skillet recently used to cook bacon and still holding some o' that lovely bacon grease.  The best flavor of this dish really comes out with bacon.  Rendered duck fat would also be good, and in an absolute emergency you could use salted butter.  If you are a vegetarian, try peanut oil, and add a little splash of balsamic after the fact.
Prepare your squash: clean with a soft brush (as for mushrooms) under running water, and place to the side on a kitchen towel while you ...
Prepare your onion: peel, quarter, and slice.  Throw the onion in the frying pan or skillet on not-quite-medium heat.  Ideally it will be cooked to semi-softness, but not yet translucency, by the time you add the squash.  If you are not sure how long this will take, go ahead and slice the squash before putting the onion on the heat.
Trim the ends of the squash.  Divide each squash lengthwise and then into slices of no more than a quarter-inch thickness.  Add to the hot onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until everything begins to caramelize.  Add a little sherry or beer or champagne to the pan if it starts to get too sticky.
Serves four to six as a side dish.  Great with rice and fairly sweet, so it goes well with any salty meat, like ham or smoked turkey; or anything spicy, like blackened fish or chicken.
Summer squash is not a year-round option at supermarkets here in the sunny desert.  If you have a yard, I hear that (given plenty of water and some protection from high noon) it is one of those vegetables that will happily grow up the sides of your house if you turn your back on it for a few minutes.  And I would point out that this particular variation can be cooked and frozen for the long, squash-less months.
Note: I understand that there are some unfortunate souls out there who cannot tolerate onion.  This is very sad.  But based on recent experience, I would be willing to bet that fennel would be an acceptable substitute.  I plan to try it ... once I can get my hands on some of those crooknecks.
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