March 22, 2018

Charred Squash With Spicy Cucumbers

Recipe: Ilene Rosen with Donna Gleb

Try this recipe for Charred Squash With Spicy Cucumbers from the cookbook Saladish.

Here’s a recipe for a medley of summer squashes for those days when it’s impossible to choose just one. Gochujang and Korean chile paste adds savory heat, while the cucumbers spiked with gochugaru (chile flakes) cool and tingle the palate at the same time.


  • 1 1⁄2 lb mixed small summer squash, such as pattypan, globe, and small zucchini
  • 4 tsp flavorless vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
  • Kosher salt
  • 2 tbsp gochujang
  • 2 Persian or Kirby cucumbers
  • 1 large shallot
  • 1 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar
  • 1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon gochugaru flakes
  • Flaky salt


Yield: Serves 4

  1. Cut the squash lengthwise in half. If using slightly larger globe squashes, cut them into quarters. With a sharp knife, score a crosshatch pattern in the cut surfaces, then brush lightly with oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.
  2. Mix together the gochujang and 2 teaspoons of the oil in a small bowl.
  3. Slice the cucumber and shallot very thin on a mandoline and transfer to a bowl. Toss with the rice vinegar and the gochugaru flakes and kosher salt to taste.
  4. Heat a 10-inch cast-iron skillet over high heat for several minutes, until a drop of water skitters across the surface. Brush with 2 teaspoons of the remaining oil and, when it starts to smoke, add an uncrowded layer of the squash cut side down. Cook the larger pieces for 8 to 10 minutes, until evenly charred but not outright burnt. If the pan gets too hot, reduce the heat to medium. Brush the tops of the squash with oil, turn them, and cook for about 5 minutes more, or until tender. If using squash, cut into quarters and turn the pieces as necessary to char on all sides. The timing will vary here depending on the thickness of the squash. Repeat with any remaining squash.
  5. Transfer the squash to a platter, brush the cut sides with the gochujang and oil mixture and sprinkle with flaky salt. Serve with the cucumbers on the side.

Excerpted from Saladish by Ilene Rosen (Artisan Books). Copyright © 2018. Photographs by Joseph De Leo. Used with permission from the publisher.

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