Sautéed Summer Squash

·Food Features Editor

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Photo credit: Eising Studio, StockFood

Every avid gardener knows this time of year all too well: zucchini and yellow squash, as far as the eye can see.

It’s a good problem to have, but sometimes you can only give so much—by the handful, the bagful, the car-ful—away. 

Whatever you do, be sure to save enough for yourself: Summer squash gets an inimitable sweetness when it’s perfectly ripe. You can slice it into planks, brush it with olive oil, season it with salt and pepper, and toss it on the grill. You can fold it into ratatouille, where it lurks, fat and juicy, with that surprising candied-but-savory note.

Or you can leave the grill alone and make the following side dish—a riff on a Bon Appétit classic—in 10 fast-moving minutes. Summer squash mingles with shallots, butter, garlic, and tarragon (that herb we all seem to forget about until we taste it and want to use it with absolutely everything, forever) in the summeriest sauté.

Serve with platters of prosciutto sliced to translucent thinness, tomatoes drizzled with olive oil and sparkling with salt, fat Provençal olives, and plenty of lemonade or rosé. (You outside? No? Well, get there.) Spin leftovers into frittatas and omelets, sandwiches and rice.

And rejoice. Summer is here once a year, the days are already starting to get shorter, and you gotta carpe diem

Sautéed Summer Squash 
Adapted from Bon Appétit and Epicurious
Serves 8

4 tablespoons butter
3 large shallots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon or 2 teaspoons dried
1 pound yellow crookneck squash, trimmed, sliced into 1/3-inch-thick rounds
1 pound small zucchini, trimmed, sliced into 1/3-inch-thick rounds

Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add shallots, garlic, and tarragon; sauté until onion is just tender, about 2 minutes. Add yellow squash and zucchini; sauté until crisp-tender, about 8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.