Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Grilled Summer Squash with Basil & Pasta

Planting dates for summer squash in Georgia range from early to late March, and production begins 45 to 55 days after seeding. By early June, the Edible Garden had yielded over 50 squash! What to do with it all? Garden Chef Christina Curry said, “Throw it on the grill!”

She advised cutting your vegetables (for this recipe squash and onions) about ¼ inch to ½ inch thick, tossing in a bowl with some olive oil and salt and pepper, and grilling over medium heat (hot enough to leave grill marks, but not hot enough to make the vegetables mushy).

It’s nice to compliment the charred flavor of grilled anything with something fresh, so she diced some tomatoes and cut some basil into strips. (Tip: The more you chop herbs, the more you weaken the flavor, which ends up on your cutting board instead of in your recipe. Only chop herbs as much as you have to. Same goes for onions and garlic.)  Chef Christina used white balsamic vinegar for this dish, which is not cooked or caramelized, so it has a sweeter flavor and no aftertaste. Also, in a dish this pretty, clear vinegar allows the color of the vegetables to shine through.

Grilled Summer Squash with Basil & Pasta

a few T olive oil
2 lb summer squash, sliced 1/4” thick
1 small yellow onion, sliced 1/4” thick
1 small red onion
1/4 cup basil, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 lb mini farfalle pasta, cooked and drained*
1/4 cup white balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
1 T lemon zest
kosher salt & cracked black pepper
parmesan cheese (optional)

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Drizzle olive oil over the sliced squash and sliced onions. Season with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until tender. Allow vegetables to cool, then dice. In a bowl combine the diced squash, diced onion, basil, cherry tomatoes and pasta. Next add the balsamic vinegar, olive oil and lemon zest and toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Top with parmesan cheese.
* Cook the pasta in salted water.

Still have some zucchini and squash left?  Try these delicious treats courteously of Garden Chef Christina Curry.

Zucchini Fritters with Lemon Chive Aioli

vegetable, canola, safflower, peanut or grapeseed oil for frying
1 lb zucchini, grated
1 small onion, chopped
1 T Italian parsley, chopped
1 large egg
1 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup carbonated water
salt and pepper, to taste

Pre-heat about 2 inches of oil over medium heat. In a small bowl, combine the zucchini, onion, parsley and egg. In a medium size bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and carbonated water. Gently fold the zucchini mixture into the flour mixture and season with salt and pepper. Gently drop one tablespoon of batter at a time into the oil and deep fry for about 1 minute or until golden brown. Remove from the oil and drain on a paper towel. Serve immediately.

Lemon Chive Aioli

1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 T lemon juice
1 T chives, chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined. Serve with Zucchini Fritters.

Find printable versions of the Garden Chef recipes here.

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