Yellow Squash with Grape Tomatoes

Zucchine Gialle con i Ciliegini


While shopping together one day, my then four-year-old daughter, Gabriella, presented me with a package of yellow squash and a box of Florida grape tomatoes saying, “I want this for dinner, Papa.” The simplicity of using only onions and marjoram, and patient sautéing to bring out the sweetness of the squash and grape tomatoes, makes this recipe distinctively Italian. This dish has become a family favorite.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Total time from start to finish: 45 minutes


  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 to 3 sprigs fresh marjoram
  • pounds yellow squash
  • 8 ounces grape or sweet cherry tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Peel, halve, and thinly slice the onion lengthwise. Place the onion and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Chop enough of the marjoram leaves to measure 2 teaspoons and add it to the pan. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion turns a rich golden color, 8 to 10 minutes.
  2. While the onion is sautéing, trim the ends of the yellow squash. Slice each squash lengthwise in half, then crosswise into ¼-inch-thick half-moons. When the onion is ready, add the squash to the pan and sauté, stirring occasionally, until it is tender and begins to brown, 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. While the squash is cooking, cut the tomatoes in half. When the squash is done, add the tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the tomatoes begin to break down, 5 to 10 minutes. Serve at once.


You can make this dish several hours ahead of time and keep it in the pan. When ready to serve, warm it over low heat. It will lose its freshness if kept longer or if refrigerated.