Squash French Style –

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Zucchini, crookneck, and related squashes can be cooked wonderfully in a sort of French method.

The first step is to blanche the squash. Well, actually, the first step is to figure out just how much you need. For us, one zucchini or good-sized crookneck is enough for two. Anyway, back to blanching. Get enough salted water boiling to cover the squash. Don’t put in the goodie until the water is boiling. Leave it boil for 10 minutes, drain, and cool down with cool tap water to stop the cooking.

This is nice with onion and mushroom, or any combo thereof. So, chop up about equal amounts of onion and mushroom to balance the squash. Lube up a skillet with olive oil and a pat of butter and crank up the heat. When the butter stops foaming and before it browns dump in the onions and mushrooms and lower the heat. You want somewhere between a good sweat and a sauté, you want the goodies nice and warm and tender but not browned. Chop up the squash into about 1” cubes and add to the pan. Slow cook it for around 5 to 10 minutes or until the squash just begins to brown and is nice and tender.

Sprinkle a little good kosher or sea salt, don’t over-do. A few grinds of fresh pepper. A few drops of lemon juice will be nice. Add some chopped parsley and one or two rough chopped garlic cloves. Stir it all up over the heat. You don’t want the garlic to brown, just get warm and soft and it will add a lovely sweetness to the dish. Add in some bread crumbs just before serving.

That’s the basics. Enjoy as is.

Variation 1: Undercook a minute or so. Dump it into a buttered casserole dish, add grated Swiss cheese and set in a 425°F oven until it gets sizzling – probably around 15 minutes, but keep an eye on it. Brown the cheese topping under the broiler if you like.

Variation 2: Slightly undercook. Drain any excess oil. Return to the heat. Add heavy cream and simmer for about 10 minutes, stirring and basting frequently.

{Herself Sez}: I’ve never been much of a veggie eater. Oh I tried to set a good example for the Three Musketeers while they were growing up. Occasionally, I would get a really good serving of something – some veggie or other. But generally, veggies are “blah” to me. I enjoy the occasional serving of fruit, but I’m not much of a fruit-fan, either. Give me meat! Give me baked potatoes with lots of cheese, sour cream and butter with a sprinkle of chopped bacon on top. Skip the chives, thank you. Give me cheese! I will eat broccoli with lots of hollandaise sauce on it (the Ol Curmudgeon makes wonderful hollandaise). I like eggs benedict (notice, no veggies and lots of hollandaise). I’ll eat a little carrots or celery with dip.

So, when the Ol’ Curmudgeon started making vegetables, I was skeptical, but willing to try them. I’ll say this – his veggies are somewhat more acceptable than the way I used to cook them. I eat more veggies than I used to because of the way he cooks them. But I’m still not a veggie fan!

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