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Author Notes: Colorful dishes mean more antioxidants. For that reason, whenever I make a salad or any dish involving a lot of vegetables, I try to include as many colors as possible. Summer is one of the best times for diverse, colorful cuisine because there are so many varieties of fruits and vegetables available at local farmers’ markets. This past Saturday while browsing produce at a nearby stand, a farmer showed me a vegetable I had never seen before – round, vibrantly colored, and surrounded by a thick gourd, I was immediately intrigued by it. The farmer informed me that it was a type of squash. Upon investigating further online, I learned that this type of plant is known as Summer Squash, and it hits its peak in May-August. It is available in green, white, or yellow. I decided to experiment with it while cooking a lunch for my family this weekend, and the results were delicious. The meal I made consisted of an Italian pomodoro-type spaghetti accented with crostini on the side. It was light and seemed perfect for highlighting summer’s herb and veggie flavors. —Christina Singletary
pound thin whole-wheat spaghetti
can diced tomatoes
yellow summer squash
fresh basil leaves
cup fresh oregano leaves, chopped
cloves garlic, minced
tablespoons olive oil
teaspoon red wine vinegar
sea salt, fresh ground black pepper, red pepper flakes to taste
organic parmesan cheese, to taste
- Set a large pot of salted water to boil.
- While waiting for it to boil, dice the yellow squash into small pieces. (Note that although I used yellow, any variety will do). Salt and pepper it lightly, and set aside.
- Mince onion and garlic.
- Heat olive oil on high in a large wok, and when it is hot, add onion/garlic and saute for approximately 2 minutes.
- Add spaghetti to boiling pot of water. Add squash to wok and saute until soft, approximately 7 minutes.
- Once squash is soft, add the canned tomatoes (use fresh tomatoes for added health, but remember to add a sweetener to balance their acidity).
- Then, add the fresh basil and oregano, then the vinegar and some red pepper flakes. Cook for another 2 minutes.
- Drain the spaghetti, drizzle with olive oil and dish it out onto plates. Top with the mixture from the wok and some parmesan cheese, and serve hot.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Summer Squash Recipe