Seared Summer Squash

Seared Summer Squash

Scoring the squash before cooking them results in a beautiful presentation while the emulsion they are dressed in offers a vibrancy that has to be tasted to be understood.


Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4
Source: The Culinary Vegetable Institute at The Chef's Garden


  • 1 1/2 lb of summer squash or zucchini, ends trimmed and split lengthwise
  • 3 tbsp Vegetable Oil
  • For the Dressing
  • 3 cloves of fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 small shallot, minced
  • 2 Lemons, Zested and Juiced
  • 1 tsp Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 8 cracks of black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt plus more TT 
  • ¼ Cup Extra-Virgin Olive Oil


  • Wash, Dry, then Trim the very ends from the squash.
  • Split them Lengthwise and score the cut side in a diamond pattern at a depth of about ⅛ inch. The diamond pattern can be achieved by making adjacent shallow slices into the flesh of the squash before rotating it 45 degrees and repeating the scoring process.
  • Excluding the oil, combine all the ingredients for the dressing in a small mixing bowl. While whisking, slowly stream in the oil to form an emulsion. Adjust the seasoning to your liking before progressing.
  • In a hot pan on medium heat, add the vegetable oil and sear the squash cut-side down for about 2 minutes before flipping and cooking for 1 more minute.
  • You will likely need to do this in batches unless you opt to use multiple pans.
  • Cooking times will vary with various sizes of squash, remove them from the pan when they just barely become fork-tender.
  • While the squash are warm, toss them in the dressing and transfer them to a warm platter for serving. Finish the dish with fresh herbs and flower petals.

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