Battered summer squash

The summer squash on my kitchen counter has a pale, sea green complexion. Its skin is thin and unblemished, its stalk prickly and unwelcoming. It is small—small enough to fit easily in the grip of my hand, and firm in its freshness.

I picked it up at Hatch's Market in Wellfleet, from one of the baskets of fruits and vegetables tucked away in a bustling corner of the parking lot behind Town Hall. It's color drew me in; the lure of the pastel and the promise of the first, crisp round of the season. I brought it home along with a handful of fresh garlic and a basket of eggs and began to contemplate lunch.

Lying against the grain of the kitchen counter, the squash stood out as though aware of its fate. I heated up a pan, axed it into rounds, and cracked an egg into a bowl. It was high noon, and time for a platter of fried summer squash.

The lightly battered halos of squash hit the pan with a sizzle, spitting garlic and bread crumb and yolk into the air with a thick, bulbous aroma. Still hot, they hit the roof of my mouth and I settled in to enjoy this first of the surfeit of summer gourds.


Serves 2

Slice one thick, 6-inch summer squash into rounds, discarding tip and end. Crack an egg into a shallow bowl and whisk well. On a separate plate, crumble one slice stale bread. Add one clove minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste; mix well. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a cast iron frying pan. When hot, dip squash rounds first into egg and then batter with bread crumbs and garlic. Fry for 1-2 minutes or until batter is golden brown, taking care not to overcook.

TIP: If extra egg wash remains after all rounds are dipped, add another egg and make an omelet to serve aside the squash.


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