It never occurred to me, in the setup of my fresh herb baskets, that I would be competing with the birds in my neighborhood. Apparently, they find my plants with their small, soft, scented leaves extremely appealing for lining their nests this spring. I understand, because they work the same for lining my stomach and making my kitchen smell amazing.
This is a good thing because—while I am making a valiant effort at using them all—my peppermint is growing out of control. As is the basil and lemongrass. I made a soup with the lemongrass. But today, we will be talking about a most basic recipe that I made featuring the lemon thyme. Which I must admit is one of my favorite herbs of all time. It stays in the list of my top five herbs and spices, and having it fresh on my porch is divine.
When the warmth arrives, I tend to keep my recipes super simple and with minimal cooking time. I hate heating up the house, yet you can’t eat salads all the time. I used only yellow summer squash here, but I also used zucchini, pattypan, crookneck. Whatever is available at the store or farmer’s market and looks good. I am very visually inspired when it comes to making food.
Yellow Summer Squash with Lemon Thyme
2 yellow squash
2 T butter
3 sprigs fresh lemon thyme
1 t lemon juice
salt and white pepper to taste
1) Slice squash 1/8 of an inch thick. I do this with a knife, but if you have a mandolin and you don’t feel confident with the knife you can you that instead.
2) Melt butter in pan over medium-low heat.
3) Add squash to the pan. Sautee until translucent [about 10 minutes].
4) Remove thyme leaves from the stem and add to pan. [To do this: hold top of stem tightly between forefinger and thumb. Pull thumb and forefinger of the other hand down the stem. The leaves should come off. Repeat until they are all removed and discard stem.]
5) Stir lightly to distribute, cover, and remove from heat.
6) Let it sit for 3 minutes covered.
7) Add lemon juice, salt, and white pepper
I serve this warm over a soft cheese with crackers – an extremely easy appetizer that looks way more complicated and sophisticated that just a slice of cheese and crackers. It also works as a side with another dish, or on top of a flatbread—another super simple way to make a fancy looking appetizer. Summer parties abound, and quick dishes that are not just salsa and chips are always welcome.