I brought these little cuties home from the farmers market last weekend. If you’ve been following, you might have noticed that I have a little obsesssion for all things mini, so I just couldn’t resist the these teeny tiny patty pan squashes.
I’m going to chalk it up to the heat, but I’ve been spacey lately. When I was ready to start cooking, I stood in my kitchen and realized the only thing I had intentionally planned to go with my sautée of mini squashes were some chives. I mean, there’s something to be said for turning vegetarian “sides” into full meals… but chives are maybe not the most filling way to achieve that.
At first glance, my near-empty fridge offered no help. Then this gorgeous recipe of Aida’s popped into my mind, and I realized I had enough to make something similar. I ended up changing a few things according to what I had (or rather, didn’t have) on hand, and also took a slightly more summery spin. (Her story with the recipe was about a blustery day in San Francisco — and it sure is/was/will-seemingly-always-be 105 degrees here).
Below is is how my little rendition went (my quantities here served 2 people)
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
about 2 cups sliced summer squash – (zucchini, yellow squash, pattypan, etc)
1/2 cup corn (I used frozen, by all means use fresh if you have it)
1 garlic clove, minced
generous splash of white wine, to deglaze the pan (or big squeeze of lemon)
3/4 cup uncooked whole grain orzo (or sub in a gluten free grain)
reserve 1/2 cup of salty pasta water once orzo is done
1 cup of basil leaves torn
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
1/4 cup feta (optional)
1/4 cup grated parmesan (optional)
1/4 cup chopped chives
pinch of red pepper flake
other optional add-ins: (especially if you skip the cheese above)
sun dried tomatoes
drizzle of balsamic
And these are the only changes I made to her instructions:
– instead of adding olive oil at the end of cooking the squash, I added a splash of wine and let it cook down for a few minutes. This gave it a nice light zing. I would normally add a squeeze of lemon instead, but I didn’t have any that day.
– I didn’t add butter to my reserved pasta water because I was trying to be light. Also I hadn’t noticed that step while I was cooking.