I went to the farmers market yesterday, but alas, I only get there about 10 minutes before they shut down. Anyone else think it's weird that a weekday farmers market shuts down at 7pm? Aren't people just getting out of work at that hour?
Anyway. I digress.
Now, don't get me wrong -- I love summer produce: tomatoes of every colour and goofy shape, peaches and nectarines, green beans and cucumbers. It's all quite lovely. But there is one incredibly bountiful product of summer that I just can't get excited about: squash.
Huh-wha? Sorry, the very thought of squash kinda puts me to sleep. It's just so bland, so sponge-y, so... ubiquitous. I'm not a fan of ratatouille, and they're alright on the grill, and my smoky squash recipe is pretty good because it loads the squash up with tons of spices but.. on it's own? zzzz- oh you get my drift.
But yesterday, having gotten to the market so late, that was all that was available. So I grabbed 4 or 5 small crookneck squash, and a bunch of basil and decided to make the best of it. I had grabbed a ham steak earlier that day (what a cheap source of protein! $6 for a thick steak at Trader Joes that would easily feed 3!).
Suddenly a vision of squash, artichokes and basil, in a buttery-mustardy sauce came to me. Something decidedly simple, French -- basically, something SO not me!
At home, I bent my knees and picked up my cast iron skillet (seriously, why does my back hurt so much?!), and let it warm up over a medium flame. After dousing it with some good olive oil, I chucked some sliced garlic in there for 30 seconds until it started to smell oh-so good. Meanwhile, I sliced my squash on a diagonal, and drained my can of artichoke hearts. After sauteeing the squash until slightly browned but still tender-crisp, I added the artichoke hearts, tossed them around, then moved them to the outside of the pan. A little butter in the middle, a teaspoon or so of turmeric and grainy mustard, wait for the turmeric to bloom, toss together, finish with a flourish of fresh basil and... taa-daa!
So easy and actually, fantastically interesting! Snooze no more summer squash -- I think I'll make this all summer. It'll go really well with all manner of grilled meats. I'm especially surprised I liked this combo because I'm not that big a fan of mustard.
I know the measurements aren't specific, but you can figure it out. It's really very easy and fool-proof. Even my darling husby, he of the hating-veggies variety, he who turns his nose up at artichokes and mustard (unless it's French's yellow -- blech!) loved it. Yippee-kazooo!