Summer squash has a delicate flavor that’s often crushed or overwhelmed. I used to boil or steam summer squash, which became gloppy, soupy, or runny. Summer squash doesn’t deserve such treatment and often turns bitter in response.
When the first summer squash appeared in my weekly farm share this month, I cut each one into quarter-inch slices and stir-fried the slices with salt and garlic powder until they were brown and a little crunchy. Right before serving, I stirred in a few finely sliced basil leaves fresh from my garden.
My husband, who has always pushed summer squash aside, said this simple-to-prepare dish was the only summer squash he’s ever enjoyed eating. In fact, he asked for more and gobbled it all up. Ditto my children, even the pickiest one (and you know who you are).
Stir-Fried Summer Squash with Fresh Basil
Stir-fried summer squash has a delicate crunch and sweet flavor. Tossed with fresh basil, it's a delightful blend of summer flavors.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 4 medium summer squash, sliced into 1/4" slices
- 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder (or substitute 1 clove finely chopped fresh garlic)
- 4-6 leaves fresh basil, sliced into thin slivers
In a large saucepan, heat the oils over medium-high heat until they shimmer.
Stir in the summer squash, salt and garlic powder.
Spread the squash out on the bottom of the pan, and let it cook until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes per side. Cover with a screen if the oil splatters.
Flip the squash frequently until most of the pieces are lightly browned.
Stir in the basil leaves, and cook for about 30 seconds.
Use fresh summer squash the day it’s picked for the best flavor.
Cut the squash into 1/4″ slices.
Heat olive and coconut oils over medium-high heat until they shimmer.
Stir in the summer squash. Cover with a screen if the oil splatters. Cook, flipping frequently, until the slices begin to brown.
Slice a few fresh basil leaves into tiny ribbons.
When the squash is browned, right before serving, stir in the basil leaves and cook for 30 seconds.