Zephyr is a breeze, a mild yet refreshing wind, hailing from the west. It is so named after Zephuros, mythic Greek god of the West Wind—considered the most benevolent of The Winds.
Zephyr is also a unique summer squash, a two-toned slender beauty: yellow with faint white striping and green-tipped at the blossom end. Do you know it? Tallahassee May introduced me to this delicious vegetable several years ago through her Fresh Harvest Co-op, and I look forward to its fleeting appearance each summer.
I am quite taken with Zephyr. Aside from its distinctive look–indeed attractive–it possesses other prized qualities worth this gush.
The flavor is slightly sweet and nutlike. Its texture is firm, yet pliable: not the least seedy, or watery. You can easily slice it into long ribbons that will retain their lovely shape in a saute.
With a bounty of squashes now filling our gardens, CSA baskets, and farmers markets, I have been considering different ways to highlight this paragon of summer in dishes, without becoming squash-weary.
And, I could readily imagine ribbons of zephyr squash tangled with ribbons of papparadelle. Soon after I had this notion, I came across a zucchini-shrimp-linguine recipe on Tracy’s blog, Amuse-Bouche for Two that followed a similar line of thought. Serendipity! That cinched it. Really, there is nothing new; we are all accessing from the same wondrous creative fount.
The recipe that I put together is ridiculously simple, and enormously satisfying: all designed to let the toasted goodness of Zephyr to breeze through….
Sauteed with some onion in a combination of butter and olive oil, the julienned strips make a lively tangle on their own.
Those interlacing ribbons like a liberal grind of black pepper. I think the dish is very good, even at this basic stage, but a crumble of chevre….even better.
It lightly coats while imparting bites with creamy tang.
I brought a bowl of this to a Sunday covered dish supper, where we all gathered to view slides of a Colorado Trail hike from our friends, Jen and Jenn. It was a favorite–even with the wee ones—who doesn’t love a toasty tangle of noodles?
ZEPHYR RIBBON PASTA
1 medium Onion, sliced thin
4 Zephyr Summer Squash, sliced lengthwise into thin strips
2 T. Butter
1 T. Olive Oil
Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Black Pepper
8 oz. Papparadelle or Fettuccini
2 oz. Goat Cheese
Heat skillet and melt butter with olive oil. Saute onion until translucent. Add julienned strips of squash. Stir until the squash is coated with butter/oil, and gets tangled up with the onion. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until soft and tender, but still with bite.
Boil pasta in salted water, according to package directions. Drain, but reserve a cup of pasta water.
Toss ribbon pasta into skillet with zephyr. Toss well, adding some reserved pasta water as needed. Season with salt and black pepper. Add crumbled goat cheese and serve.