Seared Zucchini With Crispy Parmesan and Black Pepper Recipe – The New York Times

This summery side dish is inspired by the flavors of cacio e pepe, Rome’s beloved pasta dish. Zucchini or summer squash is seared in a very hot pan until golden, and while it cooks, coarsely ground black pepper is separately toasted and butter is added to brown. (Be sure to salt your zucchini just before you add it to the hot pan — not sooner — as they can release water and become mushy if salted and left to sit.) If you can, take the time to grate your own Parmesan for a lighter, almost pillowy-like consistency that melts into the butter and forms chewy-like nuggets of cheese. (This will not be a smooth, emulsified sauce.) Like many good summer dishes, this one is finished with torn basil. Serve with a side of grilled sausages or pearled couscous tossed with pesto. A tumbler of rosé would make this dinner worthy of eating outside on the back porch, dish in lap.