July 17, 2011

Zucchini

ZucchiniSummer means that zucchini are plentiful, in supermarkets, farmers’ markets, and backyard vegetable gardens. The long, green squash are irresistible, but I don’t always know what to do with them. In the past, I’ve diced them and concocted an Italian-inspired dish with tomatoes, onions, and oregano. This is a fine dish, though the texture is a bit on the wimpy side.

Lately, I’ve dropped the tomatoes from my zucchini recipe—I was surprised that I can get a tasty dish without them—and I’ve added potatoes. This improved the texture somewhat, and, with a bit more experimentation, has yielded my best effort yet. I’ll describe what I did the other day, but, since I was flying by the seat of my pants, I won’t offer an actual recipe.

I began by washing and dicing a medium-size potato. I made the cubes as small as possible using my chef’s knife. I put these in a sauté pan with a thin layer of extra virgin olive oil, which, after a little while, yield something like tiny French fries. I set the potatoes aside, added more oil, and sautéed diced onion, green pepper, and garlic. After a few minutes, I added the washed and diced zucchini. As the zucchini was getting soft, I returned the potatoes to the pan, stirred the mix, and added salt and pepper, as well as freshly chopped basil and parsley.

The resulting dish was a satisfying one that had a very pleasing crunch. Maybe next time I’ll try throwing in some tomato.

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