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Summer Squash Cordon Bleu

Cook Time:
10 mins
Prep Time:
20 mins

Chef notes

Traditionally, a cordon bleu is made with veal or chicken that's filled with cheese and ham, then shallow-fried in vegetable oil. It's served with lingonberry jam, lemon and a lightly dressed green salad or potato salad. Every traditional restaurant in Austria always has their version of cordon bleu on the menu. Since I had a beautiful garden while growing up, we crafted our own iteration of the dish using overgrown squash. Consequently, we opted to substitute the meat with squash, along with high-quality cheese and cured meat. It's the ideal summer meal for either lunch or dinner.

Technique tip: Use skewers to help stabilize the cordon bleu; make sure to take them out before serving.

Special equipment: A mandolin.


Cordon Bleu
  • 8 slices ham or prosciutto
  • 8 slices Gouda cheese
  • 1-2 large yellow or green zucchini, cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • all-purpose flour, for dredging
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • breadcrumbs, for dredging
  • canola oil or clarified butter, for frying
  • salt, to taste
  • 2 heads butter lettuce, washed
  • 4 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon chopped chives
  • 4 teaspoons lingonberry jam
  • 4 lemon halves


For the cordon bleu:


Assemble the cordon bleus with a slice of ham and a slice of cheese between two slices of the squash. To stabilize the squash, insert a bamboo stick or cocktail pick between the top and bottom slices of the squash.


Place the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs in 3 separate shallow dishes. Coat each cordon bleu in flour, then egg and finally in the breadcrumbs.


Heat a pan with canola oil to 350 F.


Working in batches, shallow-fry until golden brown and the cheese is melted.


Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and repeat until all the pieces are cooked.

For the salad:

Place the lettuce in a large bowl and marinate with vinegar, olive oil, salt and pepper, and finish with chopped chives. Take off the excess oil with a paper towel.

To serve:

Arrange everything family-style on a platter with lingonberry jam and lettuce, and finish with a squeeze of lemon.