Serendipitous Recipe Transmission (Zucchini with Mustard Seeds)
Folks frequently ask where I get recipes. Well, heavens, recipes are everywhere. I read cookbooks, newspapers, blogs, the backs and sides of boxes, and of course I make things up, but I think my favorite mode of recipe transmission is the serendipitous viva voce connection, which occurs at those fortuitous creases in the space-time continuum when a total stranger will thrust upon you a recipe that will end up enriching your life endlessly. This is what happens when you go to
A while back I was shopping in Patel Brothers in Flushing Queens. I am going to have to tell you about Patel Brothers in more detail soon, because this is a place where very, very good things can happen, but I will just give you one example for now: I was looking at some small firm zucchini-like squash and wondering what I would do with them, and the gentleman immediately next to me volunteered that you cut them into slices, heat black mustard seeds until they pop, and then add the vegetables. You have to try it, he insisted, it is just so good.
It is indeed. This week I made it with the miraculous ribby zucchini from Stoneledge Farm.
Zucchini with Mustard Seeds
Oil (I used grapeseed oil; coconut oil might be interesting)
1 ½ teaspoons black or brown mustard seeds
½ pound zucchini or other firm summer squash
Scrub the squash and slice into thin rounds. Heat the oil in a skillet and add the mustard seeds and the chiles if you are using them. When the seeds turn grey and begin to pop add the zucchini and cook, stirring until lightly browned here and there. Salt to taste.