Home for dinner two nights in a row? Unheard of (at least this month)! Yet somehow I made it home for dinner again. Did I mention that we are on track for the lamest month ever in terms of cooking and blogging about it? I think with this post we will only have 10 for the entire month of August. And I am out of town next weekend, plus I am going to be busy at work this week (but hopefully not too busy to make it home for dinner at least once or twice). Anyway, since Alex wasn't planning on my being home for dinner (and neither was I to be perfectly honest) we didn't really have anything planned. He had defrosted the rest of the Panfried Pork and Scallion Mini Buns for his own dinner and it was pouring outside by the time we were ready to think about what to make, so we ended up just making those. But seeing as I have been dining solely on restaurant food (with the exception of last night) for the past two weeks, I really wanted some sort of simple, homemade, vegetable side dish to go with our buns. The only veggies we had in the fridge were two little avocado squash (pictured above) that I picked up at the farmer's market last week. I had never seen or heard of avocado squash before stumbling across them at the farmer's market, but they were interesting enough to pique my interest. So I bought them. The description the farmer provided was that they were similar to zucchini only more tender, buttery and a little sweeter. I was going to cut them in thin slices and grill them in the grill pan before drizzling them with evoo, crushed red pepper flakes, a little lemon juice and some fresh mint. But when we were trying to come up with an Asian-ish squash side dish to go with our mini buns, I thought of a simple Chinese zucchini recipe that I had seen some time ago in a Madhur Jaffrey cookbook.
So this recipe is one that you could probably use with any type of firm-fleshed squash and it would yield similar results. It was fine, but not amazing. With that said, Alex and I ate an entire plateful so it couldn't have been that bad. I really just wanted a recipe that wouldn't obscure the flavor of this particular squash so I went with the simplest recipe I could find. I'm not sure that this recipe highlighted the squash exactly, but I thought that it was simple enough that I could really taste and appreciate the buttery flavor and silky texture of the avocado squash. I'm definitely going to try to head to the farmer's market again this week to see if I can find more squash because it is really nice. It lacks the firmness of a zucchini so I think you have to be fairly careful (and gentle) with how you cook it. I'm very interested in trying this recipe from the NY Times for Cumin-Scented Summer Squash Salad with a mix of zucchini and avocado squash, just to see and taste the two kinds of squash together.
Recipe after the jump!
Avocado Squash (or Zucchini) Stir-Fried with Garlic
Adapted from World of the East Vegetarian Cooking
By Madhur Jaffrey
1 1/2 lbs small avocado squash (or zucchini), cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks (about 3-inches in length)
2 1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp sugar
1 tbsp shaoxing rice wine
Place zucchini in a colander. Sprinkle with 2 tsp salt and mix well. Set aside for 15 minutes. Pat zucchini strips dry with a paper towel or dish towel.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add garlic. Stir-fry until garlic begins to turn golden. Add zucchini. Stir-fry until zucchini has just cooked through, but still retains some crispness, about 1 minute. Add sugar and stir quickly. Add shaoxing rice wine and stir to combine. Season to taste with salt.