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Southwestern Squash Sauté

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If you’re looking for a good summer side dish for an upcoming picnic or party, this is one very likely candidate! It has all the flavors we love in San Antonio, from cumin to cilantro, fresh green chiles and more. The recipe writer, Ruth Lively, says the sauté is especially good with grilled fish, chicken and pork. From “Fine Cooking Annual” (Taunton Press).

Southwestern Squash Sauté

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
Kosher salt, to taste
1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded and diced
3 small or two medium zucchini and/or summer squash, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Kernels from 1 large ear fresh corn
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 large or 2 small fresh, hot chiles, such as serrano or jalapeño, seeded and minced, or use a milder chile such as Anaheim or poblano
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder (optional)
1 to 2 tablespoons roughly chopped fresh cilantro
1/2 lime

Set a large skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add 2 tablespoons of the oil and let it heat. Add the onion, season with a little salt and saute until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and a little more salt and saute for another 1 to 2 minutes. Add the bell pepper and a little more salt and sauté for another 1 to 2 minutes. Transfer the pepper and onion to a bowl or place.

Turn the heat to high and add the remaining 1 tablespoon oil and the squash. Season with salt and saute for 3 or 4 minutes, stirring only occasionally, so that it begins to brown lightly and the flesh turns slightly translucent and is pleasantly tender (don’t overcook – it should still be toothy, not mushy). Return the pepper and onion to the pan, add the corn, garlic and chiles, season again with salt and sate for another few minutes. Season with a few grinds of pepper, the cumin and chili powder (if using). Toss in the cilantro, squeeze the lime over all, toss and serve immediately.

Makes 4-6 servings.

From “Fine Cooking Annual” (2007)

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