Zucchini, Zucchini, Zucchini – It’s Everywhere!
It’s that time of year where zucchini is everywhere. If you have a garden then it’s popping up like crazy. If your neighbors have a garden, bags of zucchini are probably showing up on your doorstep. Around here we joke that you don’t want to leave your car door open for fear that you’ll find zucchini left in the seat as folks try to figure out what to do with all the zucchini.
To help with this conundrum, my 2014 non-profit partner ACCESS Go For Real Food sent a couple of us out to demonstrate how to use zucchini and summer squash.
I love these types of partnerships. This year I’ve been working with Access on their “Go For Real Food / You Can Cook It” program. Every purchase you make from The Right Plan in 2014 will have a portion of the proceeds donated to this wonderful program. The program is amazing – everyone, regardless of their income level, can enjoy learning how to cook whole foods.
Not a Good Day For Me & Zucchini
Unfortunately, the day I was scheduled I had just returned from a trip to Portland and LA. I was running on about 3 hours of sleep in the previous 42 hours. I KNOW – please don’t send me a comment about how bad this is for my health and stress level. Sometimes we just have to roll with the punches. Plus, it was 104 degrees outside! Needless to say, I look and felt like crud and it certainly showed up on video. But, I gotta put out the good and the bad. It was a ton of fun though. Tyler Johnson is the other person in the video helping with the demonstration of zucchini.
We made a great recipe, which I’m sharing below. This is a great way to introduce zucchini to your family if this is a new vegetable to you. For fun, I’m going to whip up a few other ways to make zucchini this weekend, as it’s a really versatile vegetable. The taste can really change depending on how you’re using it. Look for these over the next couple of weeks as zucchini will be here for a while!
Tricks to This Zucchini Recipe
Don’t skip the part where you salt and let the zucchini drain. One of the reasons people often don’t like zucchini is the high portion of water in the vegetable. If you try to saute zucchini without this step it becomes very mushy and even can become a bit slimy. Watch how the water is pulled from the zucchini. It will glisten as it “dries” out a bit. This is one of the secrets to making the zucchini crisp but still tender. The zucchini will have much better flavor. This zucchini recipe is an amazing side dish, can be added to the top of a summer salad, or throw in some leftover protein while the zucchini is sauteing and you have a quick meal.
I recommend using a couple different types of summer squash. We used one zucchini and one yellow crookneck squash for an interesting flavor variety as well as better colors.
Tender-Crisp Sautéed Zucchini Recipe
The reason many of us don’t like zucchini may be because we were fed mushy squash as children! This method gives the zucchini a nice crisp-tender texture; onion and garlic add mouth-watering flavor.
And, it smells so good while it cooks!
Tender-Crisp Sautéed Zucchini Ingredients
- 1 medium zucchini or other summer squash (yellow crookneck,
- patty pan, etc. about 8-10 inches long)
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 Tablespoon pastured butter or coconut oil
- 1 small onion
- 2 large cloves garlic
- Black pepper, to taste
Sautéed Zucchini Directions
- Wash your hands and the zucchini and pat dry with a clean towel. Cut zucchini lengthwise into quarters and then slice 1â„4-inch thick. Put the zucchini into the colander (or on a clean dish towel) and sprinkle with the salt. Stir well. Set the colander on a plate to drain for 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile chop the onion. Peel the garlic by smashing it with the back of a knife to loosen the skin and then chop it. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes for best health benefits.
- Heat the frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and swirl to cover the bottom of the pan. Add the prepared zucchini, onion, and garlic and let them sizzle a minute. Stir fry the veggies until they are crisp-tender, about 7-10 minutes. Serve immediately.
Refrigerate leftovers in a covered container up to 5 days. Leftovers can be used to fill an omelet.
Yield: 2 servings