Summer Squash Salad

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 medium zucchini or summer squash (about 1½ pounds total)

1 medium sweet onion (such as Vidalia), peeled

¾ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons white wine vinegar (I used Trader Joe's)

¾ cup grated Parmesan (Parmigiano-Reggiano, preferred) cheese

Place the oven rack in the lowest position and begin heating the oven to 450 degrees.

Grease the interior bottom of a half sheet pan with one tablespoon of the olive oil and place in the heating oven.

While the oven heats, wash the squash, trim and discard the ends, and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds (measure if you have too, too thin and they'll end up mushy). Cut the onion in half and slice the halves crosswise into the thinnest slices possible. Add the squash and onions to a medium mixing bowl, drizzle with the remaining two tablespoons olive oil and stir and toss to coat.

When the oven reaches 450 degrees, using hot pads, carefully remove the hot pan from the oven, transfer the onions and squash from the bowl to the pan, arrange the squash slices so as many as possible lay flat against the pan's bottom and return to the oven for 11 minutes.

Remove the pan from the oven, transfer the squash and onions to the mixing bowl, add vinegar, salt and pepper and toss until coated. Sprinkle with cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 6.

Suggestion: Don't want to heat up your kitchen? Consider splitting the squashes lengthwise, and cutting the onion in half. Brush the cut sides with a little olive and take them all out the grill. Grill until slightly browned. Bring them inside, cut them into bite-size pieces and toss with remaining ingredients.

Nutrition values per serving: 123 calories (62 percent from fat), 8.5 g fat (2.9 g saturated fat), 6.1 g carbohydrates, 4 g sugars, 1.4 g fiber, 6.4 g protein, 11 mg cholesterol, 396 mg sodium.

Don Mauer

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