The first zucchini

Zucchini begins so innocently. The first small, round fruit drops from the vine, and the season for the squash commences. For a week or two, this pace keeps up. We run out to the garden each evening before supper to see what the day will offer, delighted with another slender stalk.

It is not until several weeks later, when the baseballs begin to turn into bats, and neighbors begin sneaking bags of the green beasts onto car seats and bicycle baskets and refrigerators, that the overabundance turns malignant.

Thankfully, that phase is still weeks away in my garden. The tiny round perpetrator I picked up is from the Orleans farmers' market, coaxed along in Ron Backer's greenhouse to reach even this modest size by mid-June. Soon enough, I'm sure, he'll be stuffing them surreptitiously into our purchases, but for now, we're clamoring for that first taste of the season.

Last night, I sliced and sautéed my green monster against a backdrop of olive oil, spring onions, wild garlic, and rosemary. With the first bite, I gave thanks for this zucchini, and did my best to tuck away some gratitude for those to come.


Serves 2

Thinly slice 1 small zucchini, 1 spring onion, and several sprigs wild spring garlic. Pick the rosemary from 1 two inch twig and set aside. In a large frying pan, heat up 1-2 tablespoons olive oil or butter. When the fat is hot, add onions. Sauté several minutes over medium-high flame, or until they begin to become translucent. Add zucchini and wild garlic. Cut rosemary into tiny pieces over pan. Stir frequently as the vegetables cook, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

This side is an excellent accompaniment to seafood, particularly scallops and white fish.

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All text, photographs, and other original material copyright 2008-2010 by Elspeth Hay unless otherwise noted.