Oven-roasted zucchini

Forks down, my favorite way of preparing summer squash is grilling. When that method isn’t convenient, I use this simple oven-roasting technique instead. Good olive oil, salt, and pepper are enough to bring out the best of garden-fresh zucchini and other squashes, but I created a vibrantly colored, mouth-watering collard-peanut pesto to add a little flair to this dish. Rather than tossing the zucchini in the pesto, however, I simply add dollops of it to the bowl for people to incorporate as much as they like into their individual servings. This recipe is inspired by courgettes avec des arachides (French for “zucchini with peanuts”), a classic dish from the north-central African country Chad, but feel free to experiment with other summer squashes (pattypan, crookneck, zucchetta)—dealer’s choice.

Ingredients:

collard-peanut pesto

2 cups loosely packed stemmed, chopped collard leaves

⅓ cup roasted peanuts

3 tablespoons white miso paste

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus more as needed

½ cup olive oil, plus more as needed

Kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

oven-roasted zucchini

4 medium zucchini (about 1½ pounds total), cut into ½-inch dice

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

½ cup chopped roasted peanuts

Make the pesto: In a food processor, combine the collards, peanuts, miso, and garlic and blend until it forms a chunky paste. While the food processor is running, slowly pour in the olive oil through the feed tube, adding more if needed to reach your desired consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and additional lemon juice to taste. Set aside.

Make the zucchini: Preheat the oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, toss the zucchini with the olive oil and salt, then spread the zucchini over the baking sheet in one even layer. Roast until the zucchini is brown around the edges, 18 to 20 minutes. To serve, transfer the zucchini to a bowl and give it a few turns of pepper. Next, drop in a few heaping dollops of pesto so that people can scoop as much as they’d like when serving themselves, adding more pesto to the bowl as needed. Pile the peanuts in a small serving bowl and present alongside the zucchini.

For any leftover pesto, pour a thin layer of olive oil over it, cover, and refrigerate for up to 1 week.