Caramelized Baby Summer Squash with Herbed Breadcrumbs

This recipe is made using the baby squash that can be found at the Borba Farms booth at the Aptos market. These are very small pattypan and zucchini squashes. The little “baby” squash have a bit of bitterness to them, and are fairly firm, contrary to what many think. These squash can take more vigorous cooking methods and work well with bolder flavors.

INGREDIENTS:

1 pound “baby” squash, mixed yellow and green zucchini and pattypan
1/2 white or yellow onion, finely diced
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
Juice from 1/2 lemon
1 cup breadcrumbs, preferably homemade
1 tablespoon dried herbs such as Italian Herbs blend or a mix of oregano, marjoram, and thyme (or 1/4 cup fresh minced herbs such as basil, mint, or a mixture)
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil as needed (something with lots of flavor)

METHOD:

Halve the zucchini squash lengthwise, and the pattypan type through the stem-flower pole. Toss into a bowl and drizzle with enough oil to lightly coat them. Season with salt and pepper.

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Film pan with oil then add the onions. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until clear and tender. Remove to a bowl and reserve.

Film the pan with oil and when very hot, add the squash. Use tongs to turn squash face down and cook until caramelized and blistered on cut surfaces. Toss to cook all over.

While squash is cooking after being turned, drizzle the bread crumbs with just enough oil to moisten them. Add the herbs to the crumbs and season with salt and pepper.

Once the squash are mostly cooked (they should be caramelized and browned all over, but still have some crunch to them), make a well in the center of the squash and drizzle oil into it. Add the garlic as soon as the oil is hot and sauté until fragrant. Add the onions to the pan and toss and stir to combine all the vegetables. Squeeze the half-lemon over the pan and toss to get the juice over everything.

Scatter the bread crumbs over the contents of the pan and turn the heat to high. Sauté quickly to color the crumbs to golden brown and mix in. Serve hot.

YIELD: Serves 4