Zucchini and other summer squash are still producing in lavish abundance and eggplants hang heavy on the vine, so before giving way to autumn, I try to use this bounty in as many ways as humanly possible. Here are two such dishes.


I developed this recipe when my husband plunked down a basket of about a dozen zucchini of all shapes and sizes and challenged me to turn them into dinner. So I cut them up small – even some of the larger squash, after scraping out the seeds – stuck them in a hot oven until greatly reduced in size and caramelized and crispy, and then tossed them with a pantry sauce made with a can of anchovies and garlic. A bit of the pasta cooking water and a shower of cheese brought the whole thing together, turning the mélange into a creamy, salty, nicely textured and flavored dish. Just add a tomato salad and maybe some seeded bread sticks to round out the meal.

Serves 4

4 pounds zucchini, quartered lengthwise and sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil, plus 2 tablespoons for sauce


Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (2-ounce) can anchovies

2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup white wine

½ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

12 ounces penne or other similar-shape pasta


½ cup shredded Romano cheese, plus additional for passing

¾ cup torn basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. On 2 large rimmed baking sheets, toss zucchini with 3 tablespoons oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread out into a more or less even layer and roast in preheated oven, stirring once, until zucchini is browned and crispy and shrunk considerably in size, 40 to 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, drain 1 tablespoon of the anchovy oil into a medium skillet over medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add anchovies and mash with the back of a spoon into a paste. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add wine and pepper flakes, bring to a boil, and cook until liquid is reduced by about half, 2 to 3 minutes.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 8 minutes. Remove and reserve 1½ cups of pasta cooking water; drain pasta in a colander.

In a large bowl or in the cooking pot, toss pasta with zucchini, sauce, cheese and basil, adding enough cooking water to coat pasta with sauce. Serve and pass extra cheese at the table.



The old truism that eggplant is so substantial that it can stand in for meat is so…true. Cooking it on the grill adds another flavor dimension, and then layering it on crusty rolls with mozzarella, fresh tomatoes and basil makes for a perfect late summer supper or lunch. Add purchased or homemade pasta salad as a side.

Serves 4

2 pounds eggplant (2 medium-large or 4 smaller eggplants)


1/3 cup olive oil


2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped

2 tablespoons chopped basil, plus leaves for sandwiches

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or 1 teaspoon dried

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

6 Portuguese rolls, or other similar crusty sandwich rolls, split

8 ounces mozzarella cheese, sliced


2 ripe tomatoes, sliced

Cut eggplant into ½-inch slices, sprinkle liberally with salt, and set in a colander to drain for 20 minutes. (If eggplant is smaller, and garden-fresh, you can skip the salting.) In a small bowl, combine oil, garlic, basil, oregano and pepper. Let stand for 15 minutes so flavors can marry.

Prepare a medium-hot fire in a covered charcoal or gas grill. Oil grates.

Transfer eggplant to paper towels and pat slices dry thoroughly. Brush eggplant with flavored oil. (If using unsalted eggplant, salt the slices.) Grill eggplant, turning occasionally and brushing with more oil, until nicely browned, about 15 minutes. Brush cut sides of rolls with oil and toast lightly on grill. Assemble sandwiches by layering grilled eggplant, cheese, and tomato slices on bottoms of rolls.

Season with additional salt and pepper, layer on some basil leaves, and cover with top halves of rolls. Cut in half to serve.

Brooke Dojny is author or co-author of more than a dozen cookbooks, most recently “Chowderland: Hearty Soups & Stews with Sides and Salads to Match.” She lives on the Blue Hill peninsula, and can be contacted via Facebook at:


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