Sautéed Summer Squash

Early Summer


20 mins


2 side servings

When the veggies are nice, they really don’t need much more than a quick cook, a little allium (garlic or onion), and a touch of soy sauce. Sautéing is our favorite quick and casual cooking method. Sautéing, pan-frying, and deep-frying use the same conduction route to cook food – hot oil – but they each differ just in the amount of oil. In a pan over the stove, the goal of sautéing is to achieve a nice golden color on the food without overcooking and compromising the texture. This is achieved with high temperatures. Of the three oil-based cooking methods, sautéing uses the least amount of oil, but be careful not to use too little. There should be enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. This is critical since the oil is the carrier of the heat from the pan to the food, otherwise the high temperature doesn’t work. The other temperature killer is over-crowding the pan. Between the food itself dropping the temperature of the pan and moisture from the food being trapped and steaming itself, having more than a single layer covering the pan will not get the golden brown and delicious flavor without getting mushy on the way. Here we sauté Summer Squash, but just about any veggie can be sautéed for a simple and satisfying dish.


from your CSA Club Share

from your pantry

  • Oil – ~2 T
  • Soy sauce – 1 splash

larder items


  • Large sauté pan



  1. Slice the squash in half lengthwise, and then on an angle, slice into ~½” moon shaped pieces. Set aside.


  1. Heat the oil in a large pan over high heat, until shimmering but before starting to smoke. If you overshoot, kill the heat and allow the pan to cool a bit. Work in batches if needed.
  2. Once hot, carefully place enough squash in the pan to cover entirely, without overlapping pieces. If you do not hear a sizzle when you put down the squash, the pan isn’t hot enough yet; take out the squash and allow it to heat further.
  3. Still over high heat, toss the squash to coat evenly and gently adjust the squash to make sure no pieces are overlapping. Toss every 30 seconds or so. After ~3 mins, squash should be looking golden and slightly soften, but not mushy.
  4. Once fragrant, transfer into a bowl. Return the pan to the heat and allow it to reheat slightly, add more oil if needed, and begin the next batch.
  5. When all of the squash is cooked, splash with soy and sprinkle with cherry bomb salt.


Serve alongside rice, a steak, or seared tofu.