Remember what I said once about great recipes being infectious? Well, here’s another one.
Looking for a good way to prepare two gorgeous yellow squash we picked up at the 79th St Greenmarket on Sunday, I came across a recipe for quick zucchini and almond saute on Deb Perelman’s blog Smitten Kitchen. And then the same recipe on Adam Robert’s blog The Amateur Gourmet. And then on Confessions of a Picky Eater. And then on about another million and a half other food and mommy blog sites, all inspired by Deb’s recipe.
Deb herself was inspired by Jimmy Bradley, the chef at The Red Cat - a restaurant I’d passed by on Tenth Ave in Chelsea, but have never thought to try. Of course now that I’ve made this recipe, the Red Cat is at the top of my list of must-eat places. Jimmy has been sharing his recipe for Quick Sauté of Zucchini with Toasted Almonds and Pecorino all over the internet, TV and radio since The Red Cat Cookbook came out in 2006. So if you google Jim’s name and zucchini, you’ll see a whole ‘nother spate of food bloggers who’ve made this dish.
Now, this recipe had mutated a bit from its source. While Bradley makes his preparation with 1/4 cup of oil and two separate fry pans, Deb uses only 2 tbsp of oil and makes it all in one pan, mentioning Bradley’s tent of pecorino as more of an afterthought. Hmm…easier to make and lower calories and fat. I knew which version I was making.
But wait – Mine would have yellow summer squash instead of zucchini. Another mutation!
Let’s see how far this one spreads….
YELLOW SQUASH & ALMOND SAUTE
If you are making a simple prep such as this, you want to use the best tasting squash you can find, so go local and stay seasonal. The hardest part about this recipe is geting the squash cut into little matchsticks. If you have a mandoline, I suppose it is easy. But I do not have a mandoline, although this recipe (and that video I linked to below) has me thinking that maybe the time has come to finally get one. Because I could not get my julienne as fine as it should have been I ended up cooking my squash a bit more that either Jimmy or Deb or Adam did. But it was still delicious! If I get a mandoline or make it again with a smaller julienne I will post those pics instead.
Yield: 4 servings
- 2 medium long yellow squash, cut into thin matchsticks (julienne)
- 12 almonds, thinly sliced or 1/4 cup precut almond slices
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Pecorino Romano cheese, shaved
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom skillet.
- Saute the almonds till lightly browned, about 1-2 minutes.
- Add the squash and saute a minute or two - do not overcook it.
- Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately
- Pass the shaved pecorino cheese at the table for those who want it.
How to Julienne a zucchini - great video comparing a knife to mandoline. Wish I’d found it before I cut up my squash!