Quick-cooking and delicately flavoured, yellow summer squash and zucchini are favourites in Mediterranean cuisines and perfect for a light side dish. To create a fresh, simple recipe, we started with very thinly sliced squash, using a peeler to make even “ribbons” and discarding the waterlogged seeds.
The ultrathin ribbons browned and cooked so quickly that they didn’t have time to break down and release their liquid, eliminating the need to salt them before cooking.
The cooked squash needed little embellishment; a quick, tangy vinaigrette of extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, and lemon and a sprinkle of fresh parsley rounded out the flavours.
We like a mix of yellow summer squash and zucchini, but you can use just one or the other. The thickness of the squash ribbons may vary depending on the peeler used; we developed this recipe with a peeler that produces ribbons that are 1/32 inch thick.
Steeping the minced garlic in lemon juice mellows the garlic’s bite; do not skip this step. To avoid overcooking the squash, start checking for doneness at the lower end of the cooking time.
SAUTEED ZUCCHINI RIBBONS
Start to finish: 20 minutes
1 small garlic clove, minced
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest plus 1 tablespoon juice
4 (6- to 8-ounce) zucchini or yellow summer squash, trimmed
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Combine garlic and lemon juice in large bowl and set aside for at least 10 minutes. Using vegetable peeler, shave off 3 ribbons from 1 side of summer squash, then turn squash 90 degrees and shave off 3 more ribbons. Continue to turn and shave ribbons until you reach seeds; discard core. Repeat with remaining squash.
Whisk 2 tablespoons oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and lemon zest into garlic-lemon juice mixture.
Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until just smoking. Add summer squash and cook, tossing occasionally with tongs, until squash has softened and is translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer squash to bowl with dressing, add parsley, and gently toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve.