This dish offers a good way to use summer squash that has passed the petite stage. The squash absorbs surprisingly little oil when sliced and sautéed in a pan. I like to combine yellow and green summer squash for color contrast. A scattering of fried sage leaves on top gives flavor and crunch.
1/2 cup olive oil
15 to 20 medium to large sage leaves
Two 9- to 10-inch-long summer squash, sliced diagonally into 1/2-inch ovals
Salt and pepper
To fry the sage leaves, heat the oil in a small skillet for about 3 minutes, or until the oil is fragrant and the surface ripples. Drop in a sage leaf to test the heat; it should sizzle. Drop in the rest and cook for up to 1 minute. The leaves should turn a darker green but not black, with the edges becoming slightly curled. Remove with a slotted spoon or spatula, and drain on paper towels. Sprinkle the leaves with coarse sea salt, then set aside at room temperature.
Pour the remaining oil into a medium-large skillet and fry the squash slices in two batches, moving them around and flipping them so they brown evenly on both sides (15 to 18 minutes). Line the squash slices up in rows on a warm platter, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and distribute the sage leaves over them. Serve while hot or warm.
Note: If you like your squash crisp, coat sliced summer squash with panko or breadcrumbs, then fry in oil until golden and crunchy. Drain well on paper towels and serve immediately on a warmed platter.
Need more delicious ways to cook squash? See How to Grow and Cook Summer Squash for a list of recipes and tips.
Barbara Damrosch farms with her husband, Eliot Coleman, at their Four Season Farm in Harborside, Maine. She is the author of The Garden Primer and, with Coleman, of The Four Season Farm Gardener’s Cookbook.