Summer isn’t even official yet and I’ve already succumbed to the wily ways of the summer squash.
In short. I’m doomed.
It’s just that when you see them at the Farmer’s market, all cute and pattypan-like (and pattypan makes you think of pattycakes which makes you think of babies and nursery rhymes and the fact that you are not yet betrothed or anywhere close to it and then you have to buy them because you may not have a child but you can have cute little summer squash right at your fingertips and that is kind of the same thing, no?) and lined up in a row. You are just so damn depressed excited that you just have to buy all five.
They are harbingers of good things to come. You can feel it.
Maybe summer. Maybe the man of your dreams. Maybe (e) all of the above.
So you get home with these little squash that all but jumped stem-first into your cloth eco-friendly recyclable shopping bag.
And you are a bit dumbfounded and overwhelmed. Because who knew this would all happen so soon? Summer? Now?
As a young, single, thoroughly unprepared summer squash momma myself. I understand.
I felt lost and dazed and confused for a day or so. Until I was hit with a large dose of girl power.
And thought. “Alice Waters, the queen of slow, local, sustainable food. The woman who’s foodie beliefs are basically everything I live and breathe for. She’ll know what to do.”
And. She did.
This pasta is at once sweet and spicy, getting it’s hit from some jalapenos and red pepper flakes (the latter of which were not in the original recipe but I thought it rather prudent to add them in) and it’s sweetness from the corn and zucchini. It’s a meal so simple and fresh flavored that you’ll swear you’re eating summer. Even if it’s not June 21st yet.
This is my entry to Week Two of the 50 Most Influential Women in Food Cook-A-Thon. Check out Mary of One Perfect Bite, Val of More Than Burnt Toast, and one of my med school friends, Taryn of Have Kitchen, Will Feed for some more Alice Waters inspiration.
Summer Squash and Corn Pasta
Serves 5-6, adapted from Alice Waters’s Chez Panisse Vegetables
4 to 6 small summer squashes (I used a farmer’s market mix of pattypan and zucchini), chopped small
5 to 6 ears sweet corn (or 1 lb frozen corn)
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, chopped
2 cloves garlic
1 tbsp butter
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb pasta
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Cut the squashes into small dice. Cut the corn kernels from the cob. Peel and chop the garlic and jalapeno finely. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet. Saute the squash in the olive oil until tender and a little brown. Season with salt and pepper. Add corn, garlic, jalapeno, and red pepper flakes to the squash. Cook a few minutes more.
3. Finely chop the cilantro. Add the cilantro and butter to the pan. Taste and correct seasoning.
4. Boil the pasta, add it to the pan and toss all together. Squeeze one lemon’s worth of juice over the pasta. Serve immediately.