A Five-Star, Five-Ingredient, Fifteen-Minute Zucchini Recipe

More summer classics: Eric Kim’s watermelon and feta salad and Rick Martinez’s Tajín grilled chicken.

By Melissa Clark

Here at New York Times Cooking we publish hundreds of new recipes every year, so it would be easy to overlook the tens of thousands already available in our vast archive. But let’s not do that, because sometimes a classic, like Pierre Franey’s exquisite zucchini with shallots, is just what a meal needs.

This recipe is a model of minimalist ease that takes less than 15 minutes start to finish. Simply sauté some sliced zucchini in olive oil until tender, then add butter, bread crumbs, shallots and parsley, and toss it together well. That’s all! The bread-crumbs-herbs-allium alchemy is what makes this a standout dish, adding loads of texture and flavor in a single sprinkling.

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Zucchini With Shallots

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I’d happily eat a panful of this as a main course, perhaps with a bit of goat cheese crumbled on top and some good bread on the side. But it’s also fantastic with any grilled protein you happen to be making. May I suggest Rick A. Martinez’s spicy, sticky-glazed Tajín grilled chicken? It’s a new summer staple that’s racking up rave reviews: “If you put this sauce on a two-by-four, you’d gnaw on the wood,” notes one reader.

Another must-make is Eric Kim’s wildly delicious watermelon and feta salad. He pares this salad down to its essence: Just watermelon (I like it chilled) and feta cheese seasoned with oil and vinegar and garnished with basil. There are no olives or tomatoes or onions to bother with, and it’s simply perfect.

A touch more involved, yet still fuss-free, is Yewande Komolafe’s new recipe for saag shrimp. She adapted this pescatarian delight from the chef Pourin Singh of Le Taj restaurant in Montreal, who simmers spices and greens with tomatoes for an intense sweet-savoriness that wonderfully complements the briny shrimp. Yewande suggests serving it with basmati rice or naan, along with green chile chutney or fresh kachumbari for a pop of heat and acid.

Genevieve Ko has dessert covered this week with a new recipe for lemon bars, which happens to be my favorite dessert in any season, but especially in summer, when I top the bars with fresh blueberries for a sweet-sour one-two punch.

As always, you do need to subscribe to get all the recipes (our thanks if you already do). If you need any technical assistance, send an email to [email protected]; the smart folks there can help. And I’m at [email protected].

Grate bread crumbs

If you’re looking to make, say, the zucchini with shallots, but you don’t have any bread crumbs on hand, here’s an easy way to get them. Take some firm or stale bread (the heel of that loaf that’s been in the freezer is perfect after thawing) and grate it on the large holes of a box grater. This works with any firm loaf, stale or not, and it’s perfect when you only need a couple of tablespoons of fresh bread crumbs.

Melissa Clark has been a columnist for the Food section since 2007. She reports on food trends, creates recipes and appears in cooking videos linked to her column, A Good Appetite. She has also written dozens of cookbooks. More about Melissa Clark

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