Herbed Summer Squash with Walnuts

Source: Jill Nussinow, The Veggie Queen

Recipe Type: | Seasons:

This recipe was demonstrated for CUESA’s Market to Table program on June 25, 2016.       

Serves 4

This recipe—so easy to put together—transforms summer squash from boring vegetable to delectable dish. The sweet pepper brings flavor and bright color and the walnuts add a bit of allure. The walnuts can be replaced by any other toasted nuts or seeds. Do not think that the addition of a minute amount of liquid is a mistake: the small amount deglazes the cooker, but keeps the squash from drowning in its own juices. Summer squash has a very high water content and it’s low in calories, so eat as much as you want.


1 tablespoon olive oil, optional
2 large cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup diced red, yellow, or orange bell pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1-2 tablespoons vegetable stock or water
1 pound zucchini or other summer squash, sliced into ¼-inch-thick rounds or half rounds (about 3 cups)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons chopped, toasted walnuts


Heat a stovetop pressure cooker over medium heat or set an electric pressure cooker to sauté. Add the oil, if using. Add the garlic and cook for 15 seconds, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the bell pepper and herbs and sauté for another 15 seconds. Turn off the sauté function if you’re using an electric cooker. Add the stock or water and stir well to loosen any stuck bits. Add the squash, but do not stir. Lock on the lid. Bring to low pressure if using a stovetop cooker, or set to zero for an electric cooker (if you have no other option, bring the stovetop cooker to high). Thirty seconds later, quick release the pressure. Remove the lid, tilting the pot away from you. Transfer the contents to a bowl. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, garnish with nuts, and serve.

Variation: Mexican-Spiced Summer Squash with Pumpkin Seeds: Omit the basil and parsley and add 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon or 1 teaspoon fresh oregano, and 1½ teaspoons chili or chipotle powder when you add the garlic. Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds instead of walnuts.

Photo by Theresa Nguyen.

Farmers Market Ingredients