I had every intention of making a hearty, Fall-inspired meal this week to welcome in the autumnal equinox. Maybe a vegetable stew or something with pumpkin. However, as my circumstances changed and I found myself driving 8 hours home entertaining a toddler solo, every ounce of me was screaming for something fried. So I fried the dickens out of some summer squash my parents gave me from their garden, watched it sizzle in the cast iron skillet, oil popping left and right, hovering over each slice until the perfect golden crust appeared. Then, as if we were cavemen straight out of the prehistoric era, my husband and I brazenly scarfed down every. single. chip. The sweetness of the squash with the tangy and herb-y tzatziki sauce was addicting in every sense of the word. I just knew it would be the perfect combination and boy howdy was I right!
I grew up on skillet-fried summer squash. The side dish is especially memorable to me during summer dinners made entirely of vegetable garden produce, including freshly sliced homegrown tomatoes, purple-hulled peas, and anything else that happened to be growing in our backyard at the time. And there was always cornbread. Simplicity at its best, if you ask me.
What I didn’t grow up on was tzatziki sauce. But I’m so grateful it found me. Although I’m still trying to find my groove in my blogging, photography, and writing style, one thing I do have down is what I love to eat. Usually, it comes in an unlikely combination of Southern and Mediterranean flavors, the intermingling of my roots and health journey. Foods of the Mediterranean diet such as herbal teas, olive oil, and lentils were foods I came to love as I learned how to nourish my body and increase my intake of anti-inflammatory foods. This salad is where I share a little more about the Mediterranean and anti-inflammatory diets if you are interested. I’ve realized that the combination of these foods with foods I grew up eating in the South are the perfect embodiment of my food style.
So I didn’t even think twice about the peculiarity of dipping cornmeal-fried squash chips into tzatziki sauce. It sounded as natural as ketchup and french fries to me. And I was right. It was a perfect symphony of sweet, tangy, crunchy, salty, garlicky, herb-y goodness all wrapped up in one bite. I would share some with you, but, well, you know what happened.
You can find my tzatziki sauce recipe here. Below is my process for making the summer squash chips. All you need is a good non-stick skillet, cornmeal, oil, and a little patience.
- 2 medium-size yellow summer squash, sliced into thin strips
- ¼ cup cornmeal
- salt and pepper to taste
- ¼-1/2 cup canola oil (for skillet frying)
- In a medium bowl, toss together sliced squash, cornmeal, salt, and pepper.
- Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and add squash slices, laying them side by side. Be careful not to crowd them or lay them on top of each other.
- Fry slices for 3-5 minutes on each side or until a golden-brown crust develops and squash is tender in the middle, using tongs or a fork to flip them over.
- Once squash chips are finished frying on both sides, transfer to a plate covered with parchment paper or a paper towel.
- Continue frying until all squash chips are cooked.
- Top with feta cheese and fresh dill. Serve with the tzatziki sauce.
And if you make a recipe, don’t forget to tag your pictures on instagram so I can see because I love pictures…and instagram! Have a blessed week, everyone!