Monday, September 14, 2009
My friend Chris came into my office in late July with a bag of "Sarzana" squash seeds from Italy. She asked if I wanted a few, since they produced lovely, delicately flavored courgettes and were compact, plant-wise--meaning they didn't vine and trail off over everything in a 15-foot radius.
I loved the package: so very not "American seed packet" in format, with planting instructions in Italian.
I held out my hand and she tipped 1,2,3,4,5,6 seeds into it, which I placed in an envelope labeled "Sarzana" and put in my purse. A few days later, three of those seeds were in a mound of dirt in the front of my plot, and a few days ago, I harvested my first squash.
I sliced them thinly, lengthwise, dredged them in flour, and fried them up in hot olive oil until they were golden brown with some darker brown spots on each side.
QUICKLY onto a paper towel; QUICKLY a sprinkle of sea salt and a few turns of the peppermill; QUICKLY a squeeze of lemon--just a few drops--and ooooooh, a race to the table to sit down while they were still blistering hot.
That's late summer on a plate, right there.