Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer Squash Toasties

When I moved into the dorms my freshman year of college, I felt a little lost. It wasn't so much the big city that intimidated me, it was the people. More specifically, the people I would be sharing intimate quarters with for the next year of my life. Growing up in a tiny, rural town, I had the same friends pretty much my entire life. Saw the same faces every day from preschool until high school graduation. I didn't really know how to start over and make new friends, and the thought of being forced into friendship with a group of strangers terrified me. 

I was placed in a 'cluster' (like a suite), so I had my roommate, plus 6 other cluster-mates. That first day after the awkward, nervous introductions, we all headed off to the freshman assembly. My roommate, Kristy, claimed she didn't have friends at UW either. That she was also a little fish in the big sea. I believed her… until every five seconds she ran into another friend from high school. By the time we got to the assembly, Kristy had an entourage that was basically the size of my high school graduating class, and I was left in the dust. Luckily, another girl from our cluster was also a small-town country girl, and was right there next to me in the wake of Kristy's posse. Vanessa (whom I fondly refer to on this blog as V, of pizza-party fame), quickly became one of my best friends, ever. Some of my favorite college and post-college memories are with V—skipping class to watch Blink 182 music video countdowns on VH1, partying it up (and meeting Roseanne Bar) in Vegas, watching countless hours of Sex & the City in her tiny bed in her tiny-scary basement bedroom in the house we shared, and rocking out to karaoke jams (either Bonnie Raitt or Gangsters Paradise). I love this girl. And this weekend, she's marrying an awesome, awesome guy. Not only does her fiancĂ©, Ben, have an amazing kitchen and wine cellar (I die), but he's an absolute doll. 
So, now you're wondering how I'm going to tie this in with that tasty toasty there? Well, I'm not. V is getting married, and on a totally unrelated note, I love summer squash! People who hate summer squash are no friend of mine, I mean...seriously, what's not to like? I love it so much I want to marry it. Not really, but that would at least be a good tie in... right? No?

Oh well, I made some super delicious and simple summer squash toasties! 

Summer Squash Toasties
2  medium-sized summer squash (zucchini, yellow squash, etc), sliced in thin rounds
1 garlic clove, chopped
olive oil
pinch of cumin seeds
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
salt & pepper
4 slices of good hearty bread (like an artisan loaf)
1 cup shredded white cheddar cheese

Heat a large skillet over medium, and add a drizzle of olive oil (to coat bottom). Add cumin seeds, and heat a minute or so, until fragrant. Add squash, and cook for a few minutes, until just getting soft. Add garlic, ground cumin, a hearty sprinkle of salt, and pepper to taste (this is the part where you can sample a bite and see if it's seasoned enough). Cook a few minutes longer, until squash just cooked through and soft (but not soggy). Turn on broiler, and line bread up on baking sheet, toast for a minute or so on each side until juuuust starting to brown (watch closely to not burn or over toast). Spread each slice with a thin layer of mayonnaise, and distribute squash evenly amongst bread. Top with cheese, and put back under broiler until bubbly and melty. 

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