The cross section of the first zucchini from my garden reveals a pattern of its life: nascent seeds on graceful branches, translucent flesh gradually tinged green inward from the shining green orb. Lovely and fresh.
I’m having a good time watching the summer squash grow: male flowers tall on thin stems, female flowers nurturing their tiny orbs. The plants, once quivering from the cold of early spring, are now starting to stretch expansive leaves, creeping vines and tenacious tendrils across the garden. Later, I will probably use altogether different descriptions of the plants as they gradually overrun their turf, but now, in late spring, their robust attitude is most welcome.
The freshest zucchini deserves the simplest treatment: lightly steamed and sprinkled with a little olive oil and possibly some lemon juice or light vinegar. Here, I topped the disks with a compote of diced peppers and tomatoes with snipped herbs in a light vinaigrette.
Spring Zucchini Salad
1-2 zucchini or other summer squash, thinly sliced
Tomato and sweet pepper compote
Steam the zucchini until crisp tender and remove to a plate to cool. Sprinkle with (very little) olive oil and salt. Serve tepid, topped with tomato and sweet pepper compote.
Tomato and pepper compote
Adjust the amounts based on personal preference and the amount of zucchini you cook.
Combine 1-2 plum tomatoes, seeded and diced, ½ red or yellow sweet pepper, diced, a little vinaigrette made of olive oil, red wine vinegar and Dijon mustard, and snipped herbs such as rosemary and thyme, or parsley and chives. Let the mixture sit for a few minutes for the ingredients to mellow.
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