As I mentioned last week, we’ve had tons of produce this summer from the CSA, almost more than I’ve known what to do with. More than any other farm share we’ve participated in, this experience really feels like we are a vital part of the farm—in part because we are. With Wilde Gärtnerei we help regularly with the unloading and cleanup for the weekly deliveries, we’re asked to spend at least 6 days a year on the farm pitching in, and if we have the time, we can help at the weekend farmers’ markets. We also receive weekly updates and know when the farm is harvesting, dealing with problems with bees, or needs help with a last minute project. There is a strong emphasis on building a community, and it’s so much more than just picking up a weekly vegetable box.
With summers bounty fully in bloom, we’re reaping the rewards of this added commitment, including a ton of zucchini in the last few weeks. I processed several like the Sott’Olio eggplant I made a few years ago and I also grated a few and froze the flesh, with a plan to make zucchini bread later in the season. But when I came upon this recipe in June’s Bon Appétit, I knew I’d use at least one of the zucchini for it. The wonderful crunch of the toasted almonds, combined with the spicy chili flake oil, makes for a pretty addictive side dish. It’s a good thing we have a lot of zucchini, because I’ve been craving this dish ever since we first made it a few weeks ago.
Sautéed Zucchini with Chili Flake, adapted from Bon Appétit Magazine
Servings: 4 portions
2 large zucchini, cut into matchsticks
1 teaspoon kosher salt plus more
¼ cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, sliced
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
Place zucchini in a colander set in a large bowl and toss with 1 teaspoon salt. Let stand 10 minutes, then squeeze well to remove as much excess moisture as possible (do not rinse).
Meanwhile, toast almonds in a large sauté pan over medium heat until lightly brown and toasted. Remove from heat and transfer to a dish to cool. Heat oil in the same pan over medium heat and add the garlic, red chili flake, and lemon zest. Cook for about two minutes, stirring often, until the spices are fragrant. Add squash and cook until the vegetables just start to go limp, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, fold in almonds, and serve.