The underappreciated summer squash?



Squash is boring! That is what I imagine most people say when they think of this age old, grandmother's kitchen vegetable.
Yellow squash was the step child until it was picked as a miniature and made into nouvelle cuisine. Still, not long on length or flavor. But, for some reason, I bought a batch at the market with high hopes of finding some new recipe or simply sautee them in salted sweet cream butter. How can anything NOT taste good sauteed in butter?!
Within 24 hours the room temp squash has diminished by half, the other half quickly rotted and began molding. In one day? These are high maintainence veggies. Just a few left, I couldn't let them suffer and so decided to , um, sautee them in butter.
But I took it one step further, I added them to a savory risotto base with organic chicken stock, green garlic and tender baby leeks. The result? Delicious, of course. But it is hard to say if it was the squash or the buttery, starchy, garlic, yummy risotto.

Risotto with Sauteed leeks and yellow summer squash

2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 pint of baby yellow squash, cut into rounds
1 fresh garlic clove, whole
1 cup baby leeks, cut into 1/4 half moon slices
1 and 1/2 cups risotto rice {canaroli, arborio or vialone nano are good choices}
1 cup Prosecco sparkling Italian wine {save the rest for dinner!}
4 cups organic chicken stock
2 Tbsp. mascarpone cheese
2 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese.
salt and pepper to taste.

In a medium pot, heat the broth.
In medium saucepan, heat 1 Tbsp. butter until melted. Add the squash, season and sautee just until soft and slightly carmelized.
Remove from pan and set aside until ready to use. Add the remaining olive oil and butter to the pan and heat until melted. Add the garlic and leeks and sautee just until soft and translucent, but not browned. Add the rice and gently stir just until the grains of rice are well coated. Add the prosecco and reduce liquid by one half. Turn the heat to medium high and begin ladeling in the broth one cup at a time, stirring constantly and adding another ladle once the broth is almost absorbed. Continue until the rice is al dente, depending on the type of rice you use, you will use anywhere from 3-4 cups of broth.
Gently fold in the cooked squash, mascarpone and parmesan cheese .
Eat and enjoy immediately with a glass of chilled prosecco.


copyright Alisa Barry 2007

2 comments:

Biby Cletus said...

Cool blog, i just randomly surfed in, but it sure was worth my time, will be back

Deep Regards from the other side of the Moon

Biby Cletus

{The Essence of Eating begins with the Art of Food} said...

Thank you! This is new for me and I am so excited that someone noticed.
keep in touch and enjoy life.

buon appetito!
bella