Thursday, September 13, 2007

Roasted Summer Squash Recipe with Lemon and Mint

I probably should just issue an apology to anyone who doesn't have a garden that's producing vegetables and herbs, because at this time of year when my garden is in overdrive, I can hardly bring myself to buy food, even if it does mean the blog ends up with a lot of recipes featuring garden produce. Isn't that what eating local is all about anyway? The mint I used in this recipe grows next to my back steps, so that's about as local as you can get. Even though there are a lot of recipes combining zucchini with mint, I was somehow suspicious when I saw this recipe in Vegetable Love, one of my favorite cookbooks. Now I'll probably need to apologize to Barbara Kafka for doubting her. The squash is tossed with olive oil, lemon juice and mint, and then roasted at a very high temperature, and this recipe was definitely a keeper for me. I'm very fond of fresh mint in salads, but this might be the first time I've eaten roasted mint.

According to Wikipedia, there are many types of mint, but one thing they all have in common is a tendancy to travel around in the garden, due to underground rhizomes that are very hard to contain. My mint is spearmint, and it's growing in a small flower bed with my house on one side and the sidewalk on the other side. This is an area where my sprinklers don't quite reach, and I've tried growing many things there over the years, but mint is the first thing that's truly thrived in this location. All the mint in the recipe makes this perfect for Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Katerina of Daily Unadventures in Cooking this week.

Summer squash is tossed with olive oil, lemon juice, and lots of finely chopped fresh mint. I admit I used twice as much mint as the recipe called for!

Then the squash is roasted at very high heat for 45 minutes! Here's how it looked after about 20 minutes in the oven. I used my toaster oven to make this, since it's still pretty hot in Salt Lake.

Roasted Summer Squash with Lemon and Mint
(Makes about 4 servings, recipe adapted from Vegetable Love.)

Ingredients:
6 yellow summer squash or zucchini, about 8 inches long
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup very finely chopped mint (measure after chopping)
salt to taste (I used about 1/2 tsp.)

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 475 F, and put oven rack as high as it will go. (The recipe actually called for 500 F, but the highest my toaster oven goes is 450 F with convection, which is the equivalent of 475 F without convection.)

Wash squash and cut off stem and flower ends. Cut each squash into quarters lengthwise, then cut into pieces about 2 inches long.

Combine olive oil, lemon juice, mint and salt in plastic bowl and toss squash with the mixture. Spray roasting pan with nonstick spray or mist with olive oil. Arrange squash on roasting pan, in a single layer as much as possible.

Roast squash, turning every 15-20 minutes, until well done and slightly browned. I turned my squash twice, with a total cooking time of 45 minutes.

This can be served hot or at room temperature. I ate the leftovers the next day tossed with a bit of feta cheese and it was wonderful.

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South Beach Suggestions:
This is a perfect side dish for any phase of the South Beach Diet. If you served it room temperature with a bit of feta cheese, I think it would make a good lunch dish too.

More Delicious Ways I've Cooked Summer Squash:
Calabacitas (sauteed summer squash with chiles and cheese)
Roasted Squash with Garlic
Roasted Baby Summer Squash with Feta and Thyme
"Creamed" Zucchini
Cheesy Zucchini with Garlic and Parsley

Some Summer Squash Recipes I'd Love to Try:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly, check ingredients.)
Summer Squash Salad from Simply Recipes
Bengali Style Summer Squash from Tigers and Strawberries
Simple Baby PattyPan Squash with Blossoms from A Veggie Venture
Summer Squash Parmesan from Coffee and Cornbread
Pesto Zucchini Tomato Gratin from Karina's Kitchen - Recipes from a Gluten-Free Goddesscounter customizable free hit

28 comments:

Nicole said...

Kalyn,

I'm glad you mentioned tossing the leftovers with some feta cheese because I was going to suggest it in my comment! When I was in California, we ate farmer's market squash with lemon juice, olive oil and feta cheese. So simple, so good! I bet if I looked on your site, you've already done something similar :-) I'm going to try some zucchini roasted with mint tonight for dinner. Thanks for the recipe!

Simona said...

I am finally getting some squash from my little garden and I am so excited. I like them roasted with mint.

Pille said...

I've roasted summer squash twice during the last fortnight, using a very similar recipe to yours - excellent and easy dish! As my mum keeps supplying marrows/squashes to me, I should be able to try your minty version very, very soon:)

Katerina said...

I really wish my garden could produce this sort of produce! But I am just learning, as usual Kalyn this looks simply fantastic.

Valli said...

I love squash of all kinds!!! The addition of feta cheese would take this dish over the top for me!!!

katiez said...

So, if it's yellow it's summer squash and if it's green it's zucchini? They're all 'courgette' here...simple.
Lovely recipe - My courgette have just started producing again after an unexplained lull. And of course I have the mint ;-)
And the feta for the.... What leftovers?

David said...

I'm one of those people that doesn't have a garden, Kalyn...

Apology accepted!

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

This seems very unusual. I would love to try it and would if I were home next to my mint!
Great place for your mint, mine keeps wanting to take over the grass.
The black bean salad is a favorite of mine always.

Karina said...

Kalyn- Not *too* yummy. ;) Wish I wasn't allergic to summer squash- this looks soooo good.

Thank you for listing my recipe- I was thinking (always dangerous) how about using almond meal or ground nuts (pecans come to mind) tossed in a little olive oil and herbs to replace the crumbs in my gratin recipe?

What does South Beach use for crumb toppings?

Karina

Kalyn said...

Nicole, hope you like it. I bet the feta would be good either hot or cold!

Simona, good for you! Happy gardening.

Pille, great to have a mom who gives you squash!

Katrina, keep trying on the garden, and thanks!

Valli, me too. The feta was a great addition.

Katie, we also call the yellow ones "crookneck" or "straightneck" squash here. I wish the world would just agree on names!

David, my condolences. Thanks fot not holding it against me!

Tanna, I now have the perfect mint place, after fighting it for years! Try it when you get home!

Karina, the almond meal would work, but I'd just use 100% whole wheat panko crumbs, which would make it phase two. I must make that gratin sometime.

Cora said...

Great flavors, especially with feta cheese! Must check garden to see if enough mint survived last thrashing.

Kevin said...

This sounds pretty good. Mint is quickly becoming one of my favorite herbs. The addition of the feta sounds good as well.

Lydia said...

I love combining mint with other herbs, like basil and oregano and parsley. This looks like my kind of recipe, especially with some cheese tossed in.

Virginie Péan said...

A lovely recipe. I still remember how good was your recipe of Toasted Pumpkin with Rosemary and balsamic vinegar. I'd like to try this recipe which goes with the summer weather we've got these days in France (we call it Indian Summer).

Kalyn said...

Cora, hope you have some mint!

Kevin and Lydia, thanks!

Virginie, I grew some butternut squash (what is called pumpkin in Europe) in my garden this year just so I can make that recipe again with the balsamic and rosemary!

Maria said...

I am glad your garden is still going strong. Have you read Animal, Vegetable, Miracle? It is a great book about eating locally!

Diane H said...

Great recipe! We're hitting the farmers market tomorrow, so I'd like to give this a try.

What do you think of using Lemon Balm? I have tons of it growing in my yard and don't have any other recipes for it yet.

Didn't know you could get whole wheat panko. Any idea where I should look? Ethnic store? Whole foods store?

Kalyn said...

Maria, haven't read it. (Never have time to read!) I've heard good things about it.

Diane, I'm not that familiar with lemon balm. Let me know if you try it, I'd be curious to know how it tastes after roasting. I've found whole wheat panko at Wild Oats here.

East Meets West Kitchen said...

Wow! That sounds like a great treat! I can't wait to go to Wild Oats to look for whole wheat panko now. Thanks!

Susan said...

Doesn't mint just brighten any dish? I love it on so many veggies. And you're right about the different varieties--there's this one farmer at our market who sells apple mint and chocolate mint too, and the chocolate one really does smell like chocolate!

Mrs. G. said...

I made this for lunch with my over abundant supply of yellow squash--refreshing and delicious. Thanks for the recipe.

Ed Tep said...

Kalyn - Roasted mint sounds intruiging! Oh I so wish I had a garden. One of these days... until then, I'm going to go buy some summer squash and pretend that they came from my garden.

Kalyn said...

EMWK, both the Wild Oats by my house have it, so I hope yours will.

Susan, I've thought about growing some of those unusual types of mint. But I don't have another contained spot where they can be kept in control.

Mrs. G, glad to hear you liked it.

Ed, this would still be great with fresh squash from the farmers market.

mike said...

Looks simple and delicious. I planted mint (which needless to say, grows just fine by virtue of being mint) but hardly ever use it. This seems like a very natural combination and I'll have to experiment with it. And maybe have a nice mint julep alongside it to stick with the theme. ;-)

Anna Haight said...

I love mint, and have some growing in a pot on my deck. The place where I'm work has a lemon tree so prolific it's amazing! This sounds like a fabulous way to use some of these very 'local' ingredients! You'll see a spring of the mint in my post for tomorrow (WHB entry). It looks like you are enjoying your garden to the max!

Lisa said...

Oh, lemon and fresh mint—that's for me!

For some reason, and most probably the drought we had all summer, the mint I planted this year, expecting it to grow like weeds as it usually does, hasn't done anything. Sad.

Sally said...

I guess I'll have to try it now! ;) Just returned Vegetable Love to the library a couple of weeks ago...it was hard! I had so many post-its and notes of recipes to try, but I'll be checking it out again when I have more time to cook!

Kalyn said...

Sally, I do love that book too!

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