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Food & Entertaining

Zucchini Prepared Three Ways

Author: Sydney Dye
Issue: May, 2014, Page 54



Zucchini has a reputation among gardeners for being very prolific and for good reason; a single plant can produce one to two zucchinis per day. What to do with the seemingly endless bounty of summer squash? Go global! Because zucchini grows well in all temperate climates, it is a featured ingredient in many cuisines around the world. With just a few changes to ingredients and spices, you can use this versatile veggie for many international side dishes.

Each recipe serves four

INGREDIENTS

Asian-Inspired Zucchini
4 small zucchini, unpeeled
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic, peeled
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, peeled and grated
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

DIRECTIONS
SLICE zucchini thinly and lengthwise to form a ribbon. Use a mandolin for quick and uniform slices. Set aside.

PEEL and thinly slice red onion and finely mince garlic. 

HEAT sesame and olive oils together in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until tender.

ADD soy sauce, garlic and ginger, and sauté briefly.

ADJUST heat to medium; add zucchini and continue to sauté for about 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until zucchini is tender. Take care not to overcook.

REMOVE from heat, transfer to a serving dish, top with sesame seeds and serve.
photography by Garrett Cook
 
Italian-Inspired Zucchini
Use 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and omit the sesame seed oil, ginger and soy sauce.

Add 2 to 3 diced plum tomatoes and a pinch of red pepper flakes to the sauté pan before tossing in the zucchini.    

Sprinkle with chopped Italian parsley (instead of sesame seeds). Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Mediterranean-Inspired Zucchini
Use 2 tablespoons of olive oil, and omit the sesame seed oil, ginger and soy sauce.

Add a can of rinsed and drained garbanzo beans and a teaspoon of cumin. Sauté until heated through; then toss in the zucchini.

Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground pepper.

Sprinkle with crumbled feta cheese (instead of sesame seeds) and a squeeze of lemon juice.

Chef’s Notes
• Slicing zucchini in long, thin ribbons is a good alternative to the usual rounds and makes for speedier cooking.
• To toast sesame seeds, place them in a dry nonstick skillet over medium heat and cook until golden brown, tossing or stirring frequently (about 5 to 6 minutes).

Sydney Dye is a home gardener, chef and owner of First Fig Culinary Adventures in Scottsdale.

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