The acidity of the marinated squash cuts through the richness of the meat. If you want to avoid stove work, cook the mushrooms and squash on the grill and proceed with the recipe as written.


  • Steak (any cut), 6 to 8 oz (170 to 230 g) per person

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar

    Ruffage Book Cover Ruffage: A Practical Guide to Vegetables by Abra Berens​
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil, plus more for the arugula

  • 1 Tbsp (15 g) brown sugar

  • ½ tsp (3 g) salt

  • 3 to 4 summer squash (40 oz | 1.2 kg) summer squash, cut into long planks or ¼-inch (6‑mm) slices

  • 6 oz (170 g) mushrooms (any variety), sliced

  • 1 bag (4 oz | 115 g) arugula


Season the steak liberally with salt and pepper.

Whisk together the vinegar, oil, brown sugar, and salt.

Panfry the summer squash until golden brown (this will mostly likely need to be done in batches). When the squash is cooked, immediately dress with some of the vinegar mixture and allow to cool.

Panfry the mushrooms until crispy.

Grill the steak to your desired doneness.

Dress the arugula lightly with olive oil and a pinch of salt.

Combine the squash and mushrooms. Serve the steak topped with the squash mixture and the arugula.


With oven-roasted eggplant, tomato + parmesan ribbons

  • 1 large (1 lb | 455 g) eggplant, cut into rounds

  • ¼ cup (60 g) mayo (BELOW)

  • ½ cup (70 g) bread crumbs

  • Summer squash escabèche

  • 2 large slicing tomatoes (1 lb | 455 g), cut into thick slabs

  • 4 oz (115 g) Parmesan, peeled into ribbons

Heat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Brush the eggplant slices with mayo and press them into the bread crumbs. Bake until the eggplant is cooked through and crispy, about 35 minutes. On a serving platter, alternate squash, eggplant, and tomato, until it is all used up. Top the whole thing with the Parmesan ribbons.


  • 1 whole egg

  • ½ tsp (3 g) salt

  • 1 Tbsp (15 ml) white wine vinegar

  • 10 fl oz (300 ml) neutral oil

In a food processor, whiz the egg, salt, and vinegar until well blended. Slowly drizzle in the oil until the mixture is thick. If it is too thin, add more oil.

Will keep in the refrigerator for up to one week.

With poached lake trout, cucumbers, dill + yogurt

  • Summer squash escabèche

  • 1 cucumber (10 oz | 280 g), cut into half-moons

  • 5 sprigs dill, roughly chopped

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ cup (120 g) yogurt

  • 6 oz (170 g) trout per person, poached (BELOW)

Combine the squash, cucumbers, and dill, and season with salt and pepper. Schmear yogurt over the serving platter, place the trout on top, and top with the salad.


To gently cook an ingredient in simmering water. For meat and fish, I bring everything (the flavorful cooking liquid and the meat) to a simmer together; when the meat is 80 ercent cooked, I turn off the heat and allow the protein to finish in the hot cooking liquid. For vegetables, I heat the liquid and then add the vegetables and cook until just cooked through or even leaving a touch of crunch in the center. For eggs, acidulate the water and bring to a simmer. The acid in the water helps the egg white proteins coagulate more quickly and evenly, ensuring a nice shape of the egg. Cook until the white is set but the yolk is soft, about 3 minutes. Lift the egg from the water with a slotted spoon and touch the center to be sure that the white is opaque and firm.

With goat cheese, chard + pecans on toast

  • 1 bunch chard (½ lb | 4 cups | 230 g), cut into ribbons and massaged if too tough

  • Olive oil

  • Salt

  • 1 thick slice of bread per person

  • 4 oz (115 g) fresh goat cheese

  • Summer squash escabèche

  • ½ cup (60 g) pecans

Dress the chard with a glug of olive oil and a pinch of salt. Toast the bread and schmear with goat cheese. Top with squash, chard, and pecans.

Reprinted from Ruffage by Abra Berens with permission by Chronicle Books, 2019