Our family lives by certain truths:

  • It isn’t breakfast without the newspaper;
  • It isn’t a party until Mama cuts herself; and
  • It isn’t summer ’til we visit the farm.

Yesterday, “summer” finally arrived. The little boy and I headed to our local farm and picked mounds of raspberries. On the way home, we stopped at the farm’s market and picked up these beauties:


Zucchini, patty pan and yellow squash.

Usually I make Suzanne Goin‘s squash and salsa verde gratin when I have a variety of summer squashes. But once we got back from picking, people were hungry. Besides, time was short before the evening’s activities began.

So on a whim, I pulled out Yotam Ottolenghi‘s all-things-vegetable cookbook, Plenty, and began flipping through its pages. There, on page 68, was a recipe for “Mixed Grill With Parsley Oil.”

In Ottolenghi’s version, zucchini, kohlrabi and eggplants are grilled outside, then doused with a garlicky herb oil and sprinkled with anari cheese. Not having the kohlrabi or the cheese, I decided to use his recipe as a base and adapt it to what I had on hand. (Another truth of our family: Mama will not follow a recipe.)

The result:

squash dish1

A gorgeous platter of seared squash and mahi mahi, dolloped with parsley oil, goat cheese and toasted breadcrumbs.

It’s definitely summer!

Fish With Summer Squash & Parsley Oil (Adapted from Plenty)

This dish would work with any vegetable (fingerling potatoes, asparagus and green beans come to mind) and would be delightfully filling without the fish. I simply had some mahi mahi fillets thawing in the fridge. (Hence the “accident” of dinner!)

  • 1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley leaves
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • Juice of 1 lemon, divided
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 each zucchini, yellow squash and patty pan squash
  • 4 mahi mahi fillets
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Goat cheese
  • 1/2-3/4 cup coarse breadcrumbs

In a food processor, combine the parsley, garlic, juice from half the lemon and 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Process until you have a thick sauce. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

Thinly slice the squash. Toss it in a bowl with enough olive oil, salt and pepper to coat.

Pat the mahi mahi dry. Squeeze the juice from your remaining lemon over it, then drizzle with a bit of olive oil. Lightly sprinkle with salt and pepper.

Heat a large grill pan until hot. Place the squash in the pan, and grill until soft and slightly charred, turning the vegetables frequently and moving them to a platter when done.

squash dish2As the squash grills, place a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the last tablespoon of olive oil and the butter. Once the butter has melted and stopped foaming, add the mahi mahi fillets. Saute for 4 minutes, then flip. Turn the heat to medium and saute an additional 2 minutes, then place the fillets on your platter.

Place the breadcrumbs in the same pan as you sauteed the fish. Stir until they’re crispy. Remove from the heat.

Spoon the parsley oil over the vegetables and fish. Dollop with goat cheese, then shower the crumbs over everything. Serve hot.