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.)
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.)
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.
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
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 Goddess