Last week I made another Moroccan feast, including two tagines, muhammara, tzatziki and this vegetable saute, which was Moroccan inspired. It was an amazing meal, all the more so because I didn’t follow any specific recipes and everything turned out incredible! Not only that, but my guests loved the food as well, and they were not your typical adventurous foodie types. It was a rousing success and a fabulous memory I will live on for quite some time!
All crowing aside this particular vegetable saute reminded me that when done right, summer squash is a lovely vegetable too often overlooked in my repertoire. Remember the Algerian style potato wedges that included finishing touches after coming out of the oven? I went with that idea and squeezed some lemon juice over the saute a minute before removing the veggies from the pan and then tossed in some minced mint. Fantastic!
The real trick was sauteing the squash and chopped green garlic in really hot oil to sear the outsides and create a crisp edge while keeping the inside of the squash still firm but steamed. Too often summer squash is limp and over cooked, losing not only its flavor to too much oil but its slightly al dente bite that reminds me that it is a squash and not mush. You could even add some hot pepper flakes if you were so inclined; I kept them out so that we had a few savory dishes to offset the high spice of Moroccan harissa!
Summer Squash and Green Garlic Saute
6-8 summer squash, cut in 1 inch cubes
2-3 green garlic, trimmed and cut in 1 inch cubes, excluding the tough green parts
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 lemon, cut in half
2 tablespoons fresh mint, cut in chiffonade
Using a large frying pan, heat oil over high heat until it begins to swirl and almost smoke. Add squash and green garlic to the pan and begin to toss immediately for 2 minutes. Lower heat to medium high and allow to cook for 2 minutes and then flip vegetables to cook on other side. When squash begins to brown and crisp juice lemon over all and toss in mint. Add salt to taste and serve immediately.