August 10th, 2012

Butterstick Crudo


Cocozelle Zucchinis, Yellow Crooknecks, and now, Buttersticks.
Thanks to our diligent garden, it’s been a squash-filled summer.

Are you familiar with Butterstick Squash?

New to our garden this year, these hybrids have dark green tips and deep gold bodies, with some green streaking. Similar to zucchinis, they grow long and straight. Unlike zucchinis, ( which can hide under vast stalks and leaves until they are baseball bats!) their bright yellow color brashly announces their presence, and readiness for picking.

The flesh is firm, with a delicate, almost nutlike flavor. Seeds are minute. Easily sliced into thin coins, batons, or planks, buttersticks are cooperative. They perform well in all manner of recipes.

This is indeed helpful, because, if you are like me, the quest for different summer squash dishes is a constant from June through September.


Such a tender squash can be eaten raw.

As I was considering a preparation, I recalled a certain post in the delectable blog, My Little Expat Kitchen created by Magda.

A Greek woman living in The Netherlands, she introduces her readers to specialty dishes from her homeland interspersed with other recipes using the fresh seasonal goods found in Holland. Her photography is stunning, and her engaging voice unmistakable in her fine writing. (She also has an abiding love of chocolate, with recipes to match.)

Magda had marinated raw zucchini slices, and layered them several planks high, each in a slather of ricotta-feta cheese mixture with lemon and dill. It was her Tower.


That post was over two years ago—but its simplicity and beauty stood out for me. Whenever you can prepare an exceptional dish without firing up the stove—well, that’s a huge benefit in the heat of August.

With her inspiration, and select ingredients on hand, I decided to make my version, Butterstick Crudo.


It didn’t take long to whip up.


Chevre, churned with olive oil, lemon, green onion, fresh oregano, and just a hint of honey, serves as both slather and marinade for the butterstick slices. I recently bought some local honey that has a light yet distinct floral taste. A scant teaspoon imparts a desired essence of lavender, without being too sweet, or overpowering.

Be sure to season with sea salt and cracked black pepper, to taste.


The mixture will be thin–that’s to be expected. After you lay out a row of thin squash planks, get a spoonful and guide a stripe of the chevre down the center of each one. Place another plank on top and repeat the process.

Mine are not towers–just three stories high.


On to the finishing touches:
Scatter more fresh oregano leaves,
Marigold petals–if you have them—give a distinctive pop
A quick squeeze of lemon, and
A drizzle of good olive oil over the dish…


Place in the refrigerator for an hour, if you would like the chevre to set up. The chilled butterstick stacks slice neatly.

But, it is just as delicious at room temperature. Eat with a piece of crusty bread to swipe up all the creamy dressing.

And, use any leftover seasoned cheese blend stirred into scrambled eggs, or spread on a piece of toast. So good!



3-4 small to medium sized young Butterstick Squashes or Zucchinis
4 oz. Chevre
2 t. fresh Lemon Juice
1 t. Honey
2 t. Olive Oil
1 Scallion, cut into small pieces
1 heaping Tablespoon fresh Oregano leaves
Sea Salt and Black Pepper–to taste

Marigold petals–to garnish

Wash, dry, and cut of the ends of the squashes. With a sharp knife, cut lengthwise into thin (1/4″ thick) slices.

In a mixing bowl, place goat cheese, lemon juice, olive oil, honey, scallion pieces, and oregano leaves. Using a hand-held blender, process until smooth. Season with salt and black pepper, and mix a bit more. Mixture will be a little runny.

Lay out squash slices onto a serving platter. Spread each slice with seasoned chevre. Layer each with another slice, then more cheese mixture. Finish each with a final slice. Drizzle olive oil over the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt, black pepper. Garnish with fresh oregano leaves and marigold petals, if you like.

Refrigerate for about an hour to set.

Serves 4


Posted in Appetizers/Hors D'oeuvres, Recipes, Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian Dishes

26 Responses to “Butterstick Crudo”
  1. Magda | My Little Expat Kitchen Says:

    Oh Nancy, your zucchini towers look fantastic! What an interesting type of zucchini you have growing in your garden.
    Thank you so much for all your kind words about my blog. You are such a sweet person, Nancy.

  2. Eileen Says:

    These stacks do look & sound just perfect for hot summer days! Maybe I’d better plant a bright yellow zucchini next year so none of them can hide from me & turn into monsters–why have I never thought to do that before?

  3. Kath Says:

    This is a lovely recipe. We have pattypans growing in our garden which would be perfect for this as they are delicious raw.

  4. Denise | Chez Danisse Says:

    Both your version and Magda’s look superb.

  5. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Magda–You are very welcome.

    Eileen–the Butterstick squash plants are very pretty, as well–deeply serrated dark green leaves with silvery mottling.

    Kath-your pattypans would work splendidly for this recipe. And the little round towers would look really cool, too.

    Denise—many thanks!

  6. Patsy Says:

    Thank you for this delicious taste of home on my travels! Squash was my mom’s fav veggie, so I am always glad to see new and exciting ways to make it mine as well-

  7. Michele | Cooking At Home Says:

    A perfect idea for a plethora a fresh squash. I love these eaten raw, but never knew their name. Can’t wait to try your recipe.

  8. ernestine lawson Says:

    This looks so good
    something new for me to try.
    Try in next years garden.
    With the heat
    mine is about gone.
    Next, turnip greens and turnips
    which I can eat daily…

  9. Barbara Says:

    These little buttersticks are so pretty! I know I will want to try these in our garden next year. Do you have more seed? This recipe sounds wonderful too. How do these do in baking or roasting?

  10. Barbara Says:

    Never heard of them, nor have I seen them. Really interesting, Nancy. And I do love the recipe. Easy, summery and delicious!

  11. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Barbara G: no, I don’t have any more of this seed–which was included in that wonderful packet that you gave me for Christmas. But I don’t think that Butterstick seeds are hard to find.
    They are versatile. You can cook them just like zucchinis or yellow squashes–saute, bake, stuff, roast–you name it!

  12. manuel Says:

    yummm! feel free to email me if you ever need a last minute taster in the nbhd! Manuel

  13. Angie@Angie's Recipes Says:

    From garden to table….so fresh and wonderful. Awesome clicks too.

  14. Tammy Says:

    Those are the prettiest photos I have ever seen. They look so fresh. I use zucchini for raw noodles but this is a super idea. Thanks Nancy and Magda!

  15. Nicole Says:

    These are beautiful! I am so envious of your garden! Maybe one day I’ll have one of my own. But a green thumb takes time to cultivate!

  16. Teresa, Says:

    What a pretty dish Nancy. I like this uncooked use of squash. An unusually refreshing recipe for this time of year. Right up my alley so to speak. Great little recipe.

  17. Christine @ Fresh Local and Best Says:

    Oh I can’t wait to get a hold of butterstick squash seeds. This is such a novel and great way to serve freshly picked summer squash.

  18. Ashl Says:

    This looks amazing! I love how colorful it is! Thank you for sharing :). Glad I found your awesome blog!!

  19. Nic@diningwithastud Says:

    I love the styling of this. So simple but it pops so well!

  20. Faith Says:

    What a lovely, elegant dish! I’ve never tried this kind of squash but I would love to…sounds perfect with that creamy dressing!

  21. Kitchen Belleicious Says:

    i have never heard of butterstick squash- they look so cool and different. I like how you dressed up the veggies. So refreshing and flavorful!

  22. Beth Says:

    This recipe looks delicious and unique!

  23. Juliana Says:

    What a lovely way to serve zucchini…like it! Simple and perfect for this time of the year…beautiful Nancy.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week :)

  24. Rach Says:

    Bravi Nancy and Magda – what a fantastic idea and one that will be tried in this very hot, very messy kitchen (crawling and the inevitable destruction has begun). Lovey pictures.

  25. Grannie Ev Says:

    Just found your blog thru Pinterest (the home remedy recipe) and of course I read on. The butterstick squash (I’ve never heard of) recipe looks heavenly. Had to comment on the marigold leaves – if you’ve never tried nasturtium petals, you must! A peppery bite, I often nibble when I’m in the garden.

  26. goodfoodmatters Says:

    Hi Granny Ev—thanks for reading on! Yes, I have tried nasturtium petals–and every now and then, I have been successful growing them. You are right—they have a wonderful peppery bite. If I’m lucky, I have enough petals to make a delicious compound butter. Nancy

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