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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Sauteed Summer Squash

When summer comes and you are inundated in summer squash, this is a life-saver recipe. It's also good any old time you want to indulge in some tasty, flavorful vegetables. This is another one of those quick and easy side dishes of which I am such a fan. Usually, when I am preparing a meal, I choose one of the dishes to focus my main energies on. For instance, if I am making an involved main course, I'll be sure that the side dishes are all simple and easy like this one. I also often make this dish as a great lunch. You can even change it up to suit your needs. Sometimes I add pieces of chicken, maybe some mushrooms. Hey, it's good with onions, too. But, to be honest, I think I like it best in its most simple format.

The first step is to slice up some summer squash. Yellow crookneck is my favorite, but you can also use small zucchinis or a mix. I slice them about 3/8 inch thick.

This is one of those dishes that involves no measuring. Slice up as much squash as you think you need to feed everyone. Mince up a few garlic cloves, however much you want based on how well you like garlic. If you're trying to keep the vampires away, use a bunch. If, on the other hand, you are planning a romantic evening with your sweetie, maybe use a little less.
Get your saute pan heating over medium-high heat with some butter. You can use olive oil, but I really like the flavor that browned butter imparts to this dish. Don't use too much. You don't want the butter flavor to overpower the flavor of the squash. Saute over relatively high heat, stirring occasionally to keep things from getting too dark. You do want the squash to caramelize a bit, so let it sit as long as you can before stirring. You may need to turn the heat down if it is blackening too quickly. There is no need to cook the squash completely through, either. If you cook it too much, it just ends up getting all limp and floppy, which - in my book - just isn't that appealing. Don't forget to add some salt and pepper for seasoning. Right when it's about done, splash a little (again, not too much) white wine to deglaze the pan. Remove from the heat and serve hot.

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