Market Matters: The Golden Glow of Summer Squash

summer squash as artCan squash be art?

Is zucchini life…

One is a question, the other a metaphor.

But, here I am (was, it is all so existential) walking through the Hollywood Farmers Market looking for inspiration for this week’s Market Matters. I see a golden glow. I think. What can that golden glow be? I push my way through the crowd (why do they always put the “free” samples right in front of the golden glow?) 

Everyone thinks I am in line to taste yet another lovely strawberry. But no, I am drawn towards the light.

The lovely golden light. The light that speaks of harps and angels.

Is this my moment?


Oh… but, I’m too young to die. I have too much living to do. Too much to say. Too much to feel. Too many places to go. 

Oh, but the light. The light! I wish this woman, who is licking each strawberry clean before feeding it to her toddler, would get a move on. The light! is calling me.

I am resigned. Wherever the light! takes me. I shall follow…

squash tart ready to be bakedOH… THANK GOODNESS!!!

The light! has shown me that we have good, fresh, young, and perfect summer squash available at the Farmers Market this week. I have been expecting it. Is it early? Is it a conspiracy?

The light! It wants me to create a recipe using golden yellow summer squash.

I shall follow it’s bidding. Because I know without thinking; just as I knew when my friend Liz e‑mailed, asking what the heck she should do with the San Diego squash taking over her garden.

I advised then, as I advise now. Squash Tart with Herbs and Feta!

The light! wanted me to advise you as well as she. She is my dear friend, but I shall not be selfish. I shall share the light!

summer squash tartSquash Tart with Herbs and Feta

Serves 6–8

1 cup loosely packed mixed herbs (parsley, chervil, thyme, oregano etc…)
2 garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons very good olive oil
salt and pepper
4 summer squash (about 6 inches long… you choose)
enough phyllo dough to make 8 layers (adjust the sheet count to your pan size)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
as many pitted Kalamata olives as you see fit
4 ounces crumbled feta cheese

freshly baked summer squash tartPreheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix the herbs and garlic together with the oil and enough salt and pepper to make you happy.

Unfold the phyllo dough; cover the dough with a very lightly damp paper towel.

Brush a quarter sheet sized baking pan with some of the melted butter. Press as many sheets as necessary to cover the bottoms and rims of an entire baking sheet. It is fine to overlap in the center. Lightly brush the dough with more butter. 

Repeat, repeat. Including the butter between each layer. Until you have 8 complete layers. Which means my sheets and my size pan required 32 sheets of phyllo. Do you get my meaning?

Spread the herb and olive oil mixture over the bottom of the phyllo lined pan. Layer the zucchini, in multiple layers, taking care to overlap each layer in an attractive manner. If you are using more than one kind or color (as I did) put your artists cap on and MAKE IT PRETTY!

Top the tart with the olives and crumbled feta.

Bake until well browned on the edges; about 30 minutes. Let the tart cool slightly before slicing. Garnish with more fresh herbs and a big drizzle of olive oil. Serve warm, or very soon after. This tart does not keep well, so keep eating until it is finished.


Greg Henry