What a bright and delightful part of the meal this dish was! I’m looking back on this meal fondly because right now with my husband away on a 2 week bicycle trip I’m doing a lot less eating and hardly any cooking. The other night I ate a bag of Cheetos and drank a Coca-Cola and called it dinner. I had the bright orange fingers to prove it. The next night, I ate a pathetic salad made up of weird waxy lettuce from our CSA, fresh corn, red onion, fresh dill, cottage cheese and dressed with balsamic vinegar. It was a strange salad and something I would have probably never made if there were two of us in the house. My solo eating habits are downright wonky. I can blame the heat-wave that Vancouver is currently in the midst of, but I can also blame lack of interest. Part of the fun of cooking, at least for me, is cooking for someone else. I want to share the joy of my meal with someone by my side and Chuck Bass* just doesn’t cut the mustard. But I’m out riding my bike more, going out for long walks and meeting up with friends. Not a bad trade-off, I guess!
But I made this dish as part of a meal when Cornelius was still very much in town. Previously, I had made a great side dish involving zucchini, almonds and parmesan cheese and I wanted to replicate it with the abundance of fresh peas and summer squash that I had going on in the fridge. I shelled a gazillion peas, chopped up the squash and got cooking. This side dish was ready quickly and was not only pretty on the eyes but super tasty to boot. I was really surprised at how delicious the almonds, peas and squash worked together. The lemon added a spark and the garlic created a nice mellow depth. Originally, I had loved how the Parmesan cheese helped to add flavour, but in the midst of getting the rest of our dinner together, I completely forgot to add it here. No matter, because this dish was still very delicious without the cheese. But if you want to add some in, go right ahead, it will be lovely.
Elsewhere: Check out my most recent ReadyMade post about Panzanella Salad. It was one of the best salads I’ve made. Bread, fresh summer tomatoes and I even squeezed in a little summer squash! Delicious. Over at Poppytalk, I posted about some blackberry-lime popsicles just in time for whatever heatwave your currently suffering from. And last week I wrote about a delicious meal I made from fried chickpeas with broccoli & fresh peas.
* Yes, my solo dinner companion is watching Gossip Girl on tv.
quick summer squash & pea saute
1/3 c raw almonds, roughly chopped
1 T olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 crook neck summer squash, sliced
1 patty pan squash, sliced
1 lb fresh peas, shelled
1/2 lemon, juiced
salt & pepper
parmesan cheese (optional)
Heat a large pan and add in the almonds and dry-toast them over medium heat until they start to get slightly dark and fragrant. Toss often. Pour in the olive oil and garlic and saute until the garlic gets soft, about 2 minutes.
Add in the squash and toss about for 2 minutes before adding in the peas. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the lemon juice. When the peas get warm (another 2 minutes), remove from heat. If you choose, sprinkle some parmesan over top before serving.