Summer Squashes With Parmesan

Summer Squashes With Parmigiano

Do you have any easy recipes after hitting up the farmers’ market? Or, to be more specific, a plan of attack when you accidentally wrangle enough zucchini to feed a small army — and NOTHING ELSE? Today, for our month of summer produce, we’re excited to share this squash recipe from Deborah Madison’s In My Kitchen. Here’s how she does it…

Summer Squashes with Herb Blossoms, Basil, Pine Nuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano
From Deborah Madison’s In My Kitchen

Perhaps this is true for you, too: you go to the farmers’ market and you come home with all these different kinds of squashes. If you love their characteristic looks and personalities, you’ll want to keep them intact when you cut them. For example, Costata Romanesco has a flowerlike appearance if cut crosswise. Should you have a few crookneck squash, cut them lengthwise to capture the curve of their neck. Cut them all the same thickness and they’ll cook in the same amount of time.

Recipe: Summer Squashes with Herb Blossoms, Basil, Pine Nuts and Parmigiano-Reggiano
Serves 4, as a side

You’ll need:

1 pound or more mixed summer squash
Olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Parmigiano-Reggiano (or ricotta, mozzarella, feta)
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted in a dry skillet until golden
Herb blossoms, if available (here, I used the purple blossoms of anise hyssop. Dill or mint would also be delicious.)
10 large basil leaves, torn into pieces

Slice the different summer squash, then steam them or simmer in salted water until tender. When the squash is done, arrange it on a platter, cut sides facing up. Drizzle olive oil over it and season with salt and pepper. Grate a veil of Parmigiano-Reggiano over the squash or slice it thinly as shown here, add the pine nuts, blossoms and basil, and serve.

Thank you so much, Deborah! Your cookbook is wonderful.

P.S. More recipes, including a vegan berry cobbler and five-ingredient lemony chicken.

(Reprinted with permission from In My Kitchen by Deborah Madison, copyright © 2017. Photography by Erin Scott. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.)

  1. lily says...

    Made this and loved it!

  2. So simple, but so delicious and beautiful. Loving all the bounty at the farmers markets right now!

  3. This looks SO yummy!! I started making Ina’s parmesan pan-roasted zucchinis and then at somepoint I ditched the parmesan and added in fresh pasta. It is so good and easy, would definitely recommend adding in a little pasta with olive oil into the cooked zucs – easy and a little more filling.


  4. Here in Providence RI the farmers markets are *overflowing* with zucchini, small and gargantuan. This looks great. I’m also going to try the NYTimes recipe for zucchini fritters.

    • Hey I’m in Providence too:)

  5. Louisa says...

    Deborah Madison on Cup of Jo!!! If you visit my kitchen the one cookbook that is literally falling apart with use is Local Flavors. Marjoram on beets has been on repeat this summer. So excited to try this.

  6. lindsay marie says...

    pine nuts and basil are so good with zucchini, try adding goat cheese too. I love the recipe I think Joanna recommended of zucchini soup that is creamy yet has no cream, I make it often! I also tried it with asparagus and it was also good. I also add a dash of cream hehe. I like to grill zucchini with a lot of dill.

  7. I can eat any vegetable as long as it’s covered in cheese 😊. Looks amazing can’t wait to try it!

  8. Liz says...

    Julia Child’s Zucchini, Rice and Cheese Gratin (Tian de Courgettes au Riz). So so good!

  9. Claire says...

    I love Deborah Madison, and have several of her cookbooks. Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone is an excellent reference and constant inspiration. Thanks for sharing this recipe – it looks terrific and I will give it a whirl.

  10. Sasha L says...

    Yum! I have a garden full of zucchini and appreciate this post 😊

    I suggest another variation, cut the zucchini length wise (big long slabs) brush with olive oil and sprinkle salt and coarse pepper and grill on your bbq. Then add parm or feta or ricotta, herbs, or nothing at all.

    • Sasha L says...

      Thanks Kate! I was going to search for a chocolate zucchini cake and you saved me. Making this tomorrow as a treat when my college girl comes home for the weekend ❤️

    • Sasha L says...

      I made this! So incredibly good, served to a whole bunch of folks and everyone wanted seconds. The only change I made was cutting recipe in half and baking in a 9 in round, and added 1/4 cup cold coffee to batter (so good in another chocolate cake featured on COJ so threw some in).

      Next time I’ll make the bigger size!!!

  11. Emily says...

    Im here to provide you with the number one best way to eat zukes bar none.
    1. grate your zucchini on the coarse side of a cheese grater, as if to make zucchini bread.
    2. butter, in a frying pan, medium heat, until its frothy.
    3. zukes in
    4. cook until very brown and carmelized and smelling extremely sweet and totally transparent.
    5. mix with pasta and parmesan, mix with couscous topped with a fried egg, put on a veggie burger, eat it with a fork, etc etc etc.

    • Kate says...

      aaaaand *screenshot*

      I can’t wait to try this!!

    • Regina says...

      I can’t wait to try this. Thank you, Emily!

  12. K says...

    My favorite lazy lunch option involves similar ingredients: grate a small to medium zucchini/yellow squash and a carrot (optional) on the large holes of a box grater, sautee in a little bit of olive oil for 2-3 minutes then stirr in a tablespoon or so of home-made pesto and serve with couscous. Quick and tasty!

  13. I love easy recipes! This one looks so good!

  14. gfy says...

    When zucchini is grilled I can mow through amazing quantities! Cut into one inch diagonally cut planks, sprinkle with a little sea salt and cracked pepper and wait for the grill marks on each side. DELICIOUS.

    I also used to love zucchini noodles – zoodles – and even have a benriner spiralizer for that job, but raw zucchini now gives me an upset stomach, which it never used to. I recently discovered that zucchini is now a gmo crop and realize that may be the reason since I react the same to all the other gmo foods in the same way, sadly. I am forced to avoid them now. I read that reactions to gmo’s are impossible but I definitely experience significant reactions and always know after I’ve eaten something with genetic modification so I don’t know why they say that!

    • Donna says...

      Yeah, I read somewhere that the yellow ones are typically GMO. Not sure about the green ones. It’s something I’ve been meaning to ask my local seller at my farmers market.

    • Sophie says...

      It’s highly unlikely that you “react to all GMO foods in the same way” as GMO isn’t just one thing. Genetic modification comes in many shapes and forms and even if you were to react to a certain type of modification, you wouldn’t react to all GMOs in the same way.

      Do you react to carrots? Potatoes? Rice? Wheat? Tomatoes? Bananas? All of these foods have been genetically modified to reach us in the state they are now. In fact most of the food we eat has, it’s called domestication, and it’s not harmful.

    • gfy says...

      @ Sophie I was generalizing of course but however unlikely, I still usually feel stomach upset when I’ve unwittingly eaten gmo’s. Because I avoid all of the modified vegetable varieties (I know of), and have stopped eating questionable varieties like corn (even organic is likely to have cross-pollinated) it is an easy feeling to identify. Yes, it is a huge pain to be forced to live like this. Labeling would be such a huge help. Therefore I shop from farmer’s I know at the farmer’s market or eat homegrown and only rarely eat out, and then, selectively.

      The fact that some people are reacting badly to gmo’s is something that scientists appear to be super reluctant to hear, and I wish I knew why. I suppose because it may be difficult to measure “feeling bad” and science is notorious freaked out by “feelings”, lol. “What can’t be measured does not exist”…and etc. When will they realize that the unmeasurable only means they have more To Learn and invent until they can measure it!!

  15. Rosie says...

    Please do a month of no cheese/dairy!

    • jan says...

      I second that!

  16. Alexis says...

    +1 on the chocolate zucchini bread/cake!
    I am loving all the tomatoes right now. I don’t even bother with the heirloom stuff, I just get those bright red Jersey beefsteaks and make sandwiches on thick, multigrain market bread.
    I usually go to the Grand Army market on Saturday mornings and there is one stand that makes seasonal slushies. This past weekend we tried raspberry.

  17. Amy Scott says...

    Zucchini bread and zoodles

  18. Lauren E. says...

    Perfect timing! I have so much squash in my fridge that’s about to go bad. Solo dinner tonight!

  19. This looks delicious. Also, chocolate zucchini cake is a thing everyone needs in their lives.

  20. This cracks me up because this is the exact problem I have! I don’t even know why I’m buying squash in such great quantities. *smacks forehead*