Saturday, July 18, 2009

Roasted Summer Squash with Feta Vinaigrette

Squash + feta = yum.

I love roasting vegetables. I think it's because I lived in the suburbs as a kid and we would spend half the summer grilling out on our deck. Sadly, our tiny apartment in the city also has a tiny yard and no space for a grill. There's a guy down the street who grills in his front yard. I've considered this, but I think our landlords would dislike it if I destroyed their nicely cultivated flower beds by placing a charcoal grill in the middle of them.

So I content myself with roasting. One day, I'll get around to buying some planks to add smoky, grilled flavor to my roasted foods. But in the mean time, I am content with the crispy, deliciousness of a plain roast.

I first saw this feta vinaigrette recipe on The Bitten Word. It's from Food and Wine magazine, one of the few food-related magazines I have yet to subscribe to. I followed their directions, but my vinaigrette came out a little too oily (You can see the olive oil pooling a little around the edges of the dish in the picture.) So I would suggest adding a little less oil and incorporating it gradually while whizzing the food processor. Mine was also not as creamy, I think because I bought some fresh aged feta at the farmer's market that was more Greek style. Look for French-style feta, the kind made from sheep's milk. Also, the recipe makes a good deal of vinaigrette, about 3/4 cup or so.

Feta vinaigrette.

Adapted from The Bitten Word, Food and Wine magazine, June 2009

2 medium-sized summer squash, any shape
1/2 tbsp olive oil
3 oz. feta, crumbled
2 1/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup olive oil (LN: As noted above, you might need less)
Salt to taste (LN: Omitted. My feta was pretty salty already)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Wash the squash and chop off the ends. If you have a long thin squash, cut in half lengthwise, then chop into 1-inch half-moon pieces. If your squash is more round, cut into quarters. Toss squash with 1/2 tbsp olive oil and a little salt, then lay out flat on a cookie sheet. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, turning squash after 10 minutes.

While the squash is cooking, combine the feta, vinegar, water and oregano in the food processor. Pulse to combine. Through the spout on the top, gradually add the oil while the processor is whizzing until you have a dressing consistency.

Remove squash from oven after 20 minutes and let cool. Drizzle squash with feta vinaigrette and serve immediately.

With a grill: If you do have a grill, try grilling the squash instead. Wash and cut off ends, then slice the squash in half lengthwise. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes until tender, then cut into chunks and drizzle with vinaigrette.

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