Very, very slowly.
Spring is making a brief appearance in Minnesota.
I'm the first to admit that the extra cold and dreary weather has been tough. I'm doing everything I can to bring rays of sunshine into my day - even when the sun seems to have forsaken us in the frozen tundra.
I've been baking a lot of bread lately. I discovered some beautiful whole wheat flour at my local farmer's market and have been experimenting with it. I'm sad to say I've had more failures than successes. I'm not giving up! Plus, it's hard to be sad when your home is filled with the scent of freshly baked bread.
Another thing that makes me happy lately is this new avocado oil I found at the Oilerie. Avocado oil is high in vitamin D, so it should make me happy!
Besides its great health (not to mention hair and skin!) benefits, I love the fact that this neutral tasting oil has a high smoke point. I'm deathly afraid of the smoke alarm going off in my home, and avocado oil can help me avoid that! This oil has a thicker texture than most other neutral oils, but since I'm using it mostly for sautéing, I don't notice that.
Avocado oil works perfectly for this sauté of summer squash. It allows the squash to shine in flavor while helping it cook just right. Yum! Yes, I know that summer squash is not yet in season. Hardly anything is in season in Minnesota yet. I needed something to make my kitchen fill with sunshine - summer squash did just that.
This dish makes a great side dish that is delicious on its own. It can also be used within other dishes to make them sparkle. Try out one of these ideas:
- Toss the Sensational Summer Squash in some pasta with a little lemon juice and parmesan cheese for a great light supper.
- Serve it over a grain like barley or wild rice (even better, add some crumbled blue cheese too!).
- Cut the squash pieces a little smaller and you can make an omelette with this filling.
- Slice the Sensational Summer Squash (instead of chopping into chunks), layer on slices of baguette, top with swiss cheese and place under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese is melted.
And so on! If you try it other ways let me know!
Sensational Summer Squash
3 side dish servings, 10 minutes
1 yellow summer squash
3 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons avocado oil
2 pinches red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
2 teaspoons lemon juice
salt and pepper to taste
- Chop the zucchini and summer squash into 1/2 inch pieces. Mince the garlic.
- Warm the avocado oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the zucchini, yellow summer squash, and garlic to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes. You want the squash to be soft and glistening but not falling apart.
- Stir in the chopped parsley and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes more until the parsley is wilted and the flavors have melded.
- Remove from the heat, and stir in the lemon juice. Adjust the seasonings. Serve warm. (or add to another dish!)