It is suddenly close to the end of August and I am completely unsure as to how we got here. Everyone seems eager to jump into fall and apples and football and piles of leaves. And normally I would be too. Except it is still 100 degrees in Houston, a city where fall does not seem to exist (the leaves on our trees changed colors in January…what??) and I wonder if we will ever see rain again. I am getting magazines with apple recipes and back to school tips and tailgating spreads and I just want to yell no, no no. Stop! It’s not time yet. We still have summer produce!
It seems like at the end of the summer everyone suddenly has an explosion of zucchini without a way to use it. And I’m telling you, people. This is what you do with it. You cut it into matchsticks and saute it with some almonds. It is magical. This is one of the simplest preparations of zucchini I have ever seen that still tastes incredibly gourmet. Cutting it into matchsticks (and only letting the zucchini cook very briefly) helps to prevent it from getting soggy. The almonds create a rich, deep flavor. We even forgot to add the cheese at the end, and it was still amazing. Really. Even I, the previously most stubborn child vegetable refuser, could not stop eating this dish.
And for what it’s worth, I think it’s perfect summer to fall transition dish–summer produce with a nutty fall flavor. Not that we’re ever going to get to see fall here.
Sauteed Zucchini with Almonds
adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Cut zucchini into 1/8 inch matchsticks by cutting the squash into thin slices and then cutting the slices, several at a time, into matchsticks. Or use a julienne blade on a mandoline.
2. In a skillet over high heat, heat the oil. When oil is hot, add the almonds, stirring, and cooking them until they are golden brown, 1-2 minutes. Add the zucchinni, seasoning with salt and pepper, and stirring and cooking with the almonds for 1 minute. Serve immediately, topping with cheese if desired.