This is a wonderful spring vegetable although it is available year round. Zucchini comes in lots of sizes from small finger sized all the way up to the giants that come out of our garden. Some chefs prefer smaller zucchini for they are more tender with thinner skins. But zucchini is a soft vegetable by its nature so the difference is not a deal breaker.
When using zucchini you can also combine it 50/50 with yellow summer squash, at your grocers usually found right next to the zucchini. This way you get the green color of the zucchini and the lovely pale yellow of the squash. Be sure to purchase zucchinis that are firm with the skin free of blemishes. To get them ready for cooking rinse and dry them off, then cut a little off each end.
Here are two Italian recipes that I’m sure can become favorites at your house.
Zucchini with Lemon
Zucchini al Limone
3 tbl Extra virgin olive oil
1 pound zucchini, sliced ¼ inch thick
2 tbl fresh lemon juice (substitute lime juice for a different flavor profile)
1 tsp dried oregano
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
In large skillet heat oil until medium high. Add zucchini and oregano, toss to coat with the oil. Sauté 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Add lemon juice and a little salt and pepper, toss and serve.
Zucchini with Garlic
Zucchini al Aglio
3 tbl extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced or crushed (substitute 4 mashed cloves of roasted garlic for a different garlic flavor)
¼ tsp dried red pepper flakes
1 pound zucchini, medium dice
2 tbl fresh mint, chopped
Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
In large skillet heat oil until medium high. Add zucchini and red pepper flakes, sauté for 2 minutes. Add garlic, toss, and continue cooking for 2 to 3 more minutes. Remove from heat add mint and some salt and pepper, toss well, serve. Enjoy
These two recipes would also work well with cauliflower. Can you think of anything else that these would work with?