We’re not going to miss those air-conditioning bills, are you? (Warm afternoons on the Hudson, yes; Con Ed bills, no).

That touch of cool in our Village mornings reminds us that we’re entering the downside of summer and, guess what? Our baskets are bursting with mountains of zucchini and squash. They’re like summer’s late gift to chefs and foodies and families who are trying to sneak veggies into their meals. Now is the time when we’re cooking up some of our favorite Sides of Summer.

Our Zucchini & Squash Scapece is cool and super-simple. It borrows from the classic Roman trattoria (where Brooke and I clocked a lot of hours last October) that pan-fries zucchini in olive oil, then marinates the thin strips with fresh mint and white vinegar. There’s a little bit of agrodolce (sour & sweet) going on and the tart and pleasing zucchini somehow beat out your bucatini all’amatriciana to be the star of the meal.

This side of Rome, we find that grilling (instead of frying) the zucchini and squash before tossing them in a marinade, gives them great flavor and keeps them from getting too oily. During our Dexter: Season 5 Netflix marathon, we’d almost prefer a bowl of our scapece, tossed with arugula and parmesan, instead of popcorn. (We’re Dexter die-hards and somehow we make it work…) And when we want to make a full meal out of summer’s last veggies, Jamie pairs the scapece with a juicy pork tenderloin.

Does you want that for your Friday dinner? The recipe’s coming tomorrow!

Zucchini & Squash Scapece

  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, more as needed
  • 3 medium sized zucchini and/or squash
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, combine the parsley, cilantro, vinegar, garlic and 2 tablespoons olive oil. Mix well to combine and set the marinade aside while you prepare the vegetables.

Trim the ends from the zucchini/squash and slice length-wise (cut in half if they are more than 4-5 inches in length) 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Lightly brush each slice with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook on a preheated grill until just tender, about 2 minutes per side. Remove the cooked vegetables from the grill, place immediately in the marinade and toss well to coat.