I had a lovely time with my friend Paul at the Playa Vista Farmer's Market this morning. We ate tamales and sampled other vegan treats, and then we hit the produce stands. Paul was on a quest for seasonal fruit -- the elusive boysenberry being his primary target. Well, not only did Paul find his boysenberries, but he also picked up a basket of mulberries, along with a nice variety of seasonal stone fruit.
While Paul shopped for fruit, I hunted for seasonal vegetables that I could doctor up. Feeling indecisive, I noticed this rather large and colorful summer squash was calling my name. I resisted, unsure just what I could do with it, but Paul persuaded me to get it, certain I would figure something out, and worst case, he suggested I could use it as a centerpiece. That convinced me.
One of the hallmarks of the summer squash varieties is that they have edible skin. So I began by slicing the squash into thin wedges, as you might an apple, and carefully removing the seeds and pulp from each slice, while preserving the meat and leaving the skin in tact. I placed the squash slices (measuring about 2 cups) in a colander over a bowl and sprinkled 1/2 teaspoon of salt on them and let them rest for 20 minutes to soften.
In the meantime, I thinly sliced a bulbous green onion, from top to tail, and I chopped two cloves of garlic. Next I peeled and diced two large tomatoes (one red and one gold), and sprinkled the tomatoes with just a bit of salt to really bring out their flavor.
Then I heated 2 tablespoons of very good extra virgin olive oil in a large frying pan and sautéed the onions for a minute and then added the garlic and sautéed the onions and garlic together for one minute more, stirring frequently.
Next I added the sliced squash and sautéed everything together for five minutes, still stirring often. Finally I added the diced tomatoes and let everything cook together for another 5 minutes until the squash was tender (but not mushy).
I put the sautéed mixture into a serving dish, and sprinkled on just a bit of cumin and black pepper, and I topped the dish with very thinly sliced fresh mint. I love, love, love fresh mint with cooked tomatoes, but substituting parsley, dill, or basil would be delicious as well.