Favorite recipe: Calabacitas

Shared by Angelina Lopez-Brody, 25, of Albuquerque, New Mexico

This is the fourth in a series of recipes from AFSC constituents around the world. Check afsc.org/recipes for more.

When Angelina Lopez-Brody’s garden overflows with summer squash, she knows just what to do so nothing goes to waste: make calabacitas. It is a sweet and spicy New Mexico summertime staple that can be made with zucchini or squash.

“It's easy to improvise with what you have on hand,” says Angelina, a farmer who went through AFSC’s farmer-to-farmer training program, learning everything from preparing soil to selling produce.

Her mom passed on the recipe to Angelina, who has been eating calabacitas for so long she doesn’t remember the first time she had it. But eating it reminds her of the “beautiful, seemingly endless evenings of late-summer barbecues” from her childhood and of helping her dad pick the ingredients from his garden.

Angelina now grows many of the ingredients in her own garden and purchases others at the local growers’ market. She’s moving soon to a 10-acre farm in El Guique, New Mexico.

This summer, Angelina's calabacitas will feature a new variety of heirloom chili that she’s growing from seeds a neighbor gave her. 

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Ingredients

  • Sweet corn
  • Green chili
  • Summer squash
  • Kale (optional)
  • Butter or olive oil
  • Salt

Directions

  • Chop or slice the vegetables
  • Sautee in plenty of butter or olive oil
  • Add salt to taste

Easy!

You can also change the flavor with onions, garlic, greens, or a vinaigrette.

Q&A

What do you love about this dish? 

Vibrantly colored calabacitas tastes fresh, with both sweet and spicy flavors. 

When you are able to use fresh ingredients, the blend of tastes really showcases each of the veggies at their best. Besides, it's a great way to use summer squash when it starts to come out of your ears!

Why should other people try it?

This dish is easy to make ahead for gatherings. It is beautiful and delicious warm or cold. It is a nice way to add the flavor of green chili while still being able to control for the heat.