We've been receiving quite a few of these Zephyr squash in our CSA as of late. Their two-toned skin is striking, and it's amazing to me how perfect the transition really is - a seamless jump from green into yellow, as if the plant simply ran out of one color and picked up another. The internal palette of vegetables is remarkable, and I often wonder if Nature's attention to color is more than just a ploy to ensure the proper dose of vitamins and minerals. I think she rather likes experimenting with hues, and like any other proper interior decorator, knows that color is key! Vibrantly colored fruits and vegetables can really dress up your secondary living space - just look and see how those Zephyrs bring out the color of the grass! And since I tend to spend a lot of time outdoors these days, I appreciate how these little gems of color have enlivened my landscape.
Coincidentally, even when their tenure outside has come to an end, I can still enjoy their colors on my dinner plate. Paired with other vegetables that share it's color - yellow pear tomatoes and a golden zucchini - the Zephyr squash is transformed into this beautiful and sumptuous pasta dish.
Green and Gold Squash and Zucchini Pasta (modified from Local Flavors by Deborah Madison)
1 cup goat cheese, more or less to taste (or ricotta)
2 lbs golden zucchini and zephyr squash, cut into small strips or wedges
2-3 T olive oil
3 cloves minced garlic
3 T coarsely torn basil
1 lb penne or rigatoni pasta
handful or more of yellow pear tomatoes (or other type cherry tomato)
salt and pepper to taste
freshly grated Parmesan or Pecorino
Warm the goat cheese to room temperature. Set large saute pan over medium-high heat. When pan is hot, add olive oil. Saute zucchini and squash until golden - about 5-10 minutes. You want the squash to be al dente - not mushy. Increase the heat to high if necessary, to keep the squash from steaming. When squash is done, add garlic and basil and toss to combine. Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper.
Cook pasta according to package directions. When al dente, drain, and combine with squash mixture. Toss to coat and add a little more olive oil if desired. Drop spoonfuls of goat cheese over surface pasta - you may also choose to mix it in (we did this). Add freshly Parmesan or Pecorino to taste. Top with halved yellow pear tomatoes.