Friday, August 22, 2008

Summer Squash Saute

This summer's produce markets are displaying an abundance of bright yellow "patty pan" (from the French "petit pan") summer squash, which are round with scalloped edges and a deep green circular mark in the center of the blossom end. They look rather like organic flying saucers and are so strikingly beautiful that I almost hate to cook them. But here's a simple saute which takes only a few minutes to prepare when hunger overcomes aesthetics.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced leek or onion
4 small summer squash, thinly sliced
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1/3 cup (approx) fresh water
a few fresh basil leaves, torn
1/4 teaspoon sea salt

Heat olive oil in a heavy skillet; add leek and saute until fragrant and golden.
Add squash and cook gently on medium heat until tender, stirring occasionally.
Layer tomato slices on top of squash and continue cooking gently until tomatoes release some liquid and soften a little; if tomatoes seem dry add a splash of water.
Add basil and sea salt; toss and correct seasoning to taste.

Serve immediately garnished with a little more basil and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.