Why It Works
- Salting the squash in advance draws out some of its surface moisture, allowing it to evaporate more quickly, and speeding surface browning under the broiler.
- A dash of sugar ups the sweet caramel notes even more, while vinegar keeps that sweetness in check.
- Buttery avocado rounds everything out, taming the vinegar's tang and adding richness.
Browned and sweet mixed summer squash, crisp pops of fresh sweet corn, and silky avocado is all you need for this bold vegetarian one-pan side dish. It's got everything all rolled up into one tight package, from the rich, buttery avocado to a bracing sweet-and-sour punch thanks to a splash of vinegar.
- 1 pound (450g) mixed summer squash (about 4 medium)
- Kosher or sea salt
- 1 cup (400g) fresh corn kernels, cut from about 2 cobs
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) white wine vingar or apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 just under-ripe avocado, halved, pitted, and flesh cut into 1/2-inch chunks (150 grams)
- Flaky sea salt, to garnish (optional)
Preheat broiler and set top oven rack 4 to 6 inches from broiler element.
Trim squash ends, then cut each squash in half lengthwise. Cross cut the squash halves into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Season squash with salt, then place cut side up in a 9-inch cast iron pan. Let stand for 10 minutes.
Broil squash until slightly shriveled and browned in spots, about 5 minutes.
Add corn and olive oil and toss everything together until well coated. Broil until the squash and corn are speckled with browned spots, about 4 minutes longer.
Remove from the broiler and sprinkle sugar on top. Toss to coat. Add the vinegar and chili flakes. Stir until well mixed, then broil until the liquid in the pan is reduced by at least half and is syrupy, about 5 minutes.
Remove from the broiler, add avocado, and toss well. Serve warm or at room temperature, sprinkling flaky salt on top, if desired.
9-inch cast iron skillet