It can be difficult to find a good side dish in a small version. It’s even harder to discover one that’s both tasty and simple to make. This summer squash with lemon, mint, and feta fits perfectly into my summer plans. It goes together quickly, can be made in the oven or on the grill, and is so tasty that my family, who normally dislike squash, are happy to eat it.
If you’re a CSA member, as we are, you may get lots of zucchini and yellow summer squash. You’ll be looking for recipes beyond zucchini bread. If you’re not a dedicated squash lover (it’s the texture, right?) do try this. The unusual combination of flavors makes it a standout dish. The squash tastes almost sweet, due to the lemon and mint. That sweetness is delightfully offset by the salty feta cheese. The original inspiration came from a lovely book: Vegetable Love by Barbara Kafka. By the way, this is an excellent book: stuffed full of ideas.
Back to the squash. First you cut it in small sticks, and then give the sticks a bath in lemon juice, olive oil, and mint. Let this sit while you heat the grill (or the oven) and then simply cook the squash until it’s browned and tender. Put it back into the bowl with any leftover juice/oil liquid, mix it around, sprinkle with feta, and serve. Easy, right?
This version of summer squash with lemon, mint, and feta will serve 2 (or only 1, if you really like it.) It’s easily doubled or even tripled, in case you’re cooking for a crowd, and is no more difficult in a larger version.
Summer Squash with Lemon, Mint, & Feta
- 1 medium summer squash or zucchini 6-8 inches long
- 1½ Tbsp lemon juice
- 1½ Tbsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh mint
- ¼ tsp garlic salt
- ¼ cup crumbled Feta cheese
- If using oven: preheat to 475˚F/250˚C, and put oven rack as high as it will go. If using grill, heat the grill.
- Cut the stem and blossom ends off the squash. Now cut the squash into quarters lengthwise, then into pieces about 2 inches long.
- In a medium bowl, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, mint, and garlic salt, and mix well. Toss the squash in this mixture, making sure all surfaces are well coated.
- If using oven: arrange the squash on a flat pan (I use a quarter sheet pan) in a single layer. Leave any liquid behind in the bowl. Roast the squash, turning it after 15 minutes. Roast about 30 minutes total, until it is slightly browned and tender.
- If using grill: place the squash pieces on the grill. Again, reserve any liquid in the bowl. Grill the squash uncovered, turning occasionally, until charred in spots and crisp-tender – 8-9 minutes total.
- Return the cooked squash to the bowl with any leftover liquid. Mix it gently, and then sprinkle in the Feta cheese, and mix again.
- This may be served hot or at room temperature.