Friday, March 9, 2012

Fun with Zuuchini

       OK the title might be a little misleading...I'm not about to show you how to make swans and juggling monkeys out of zucchini shavings or anything....but I DID make two meals out of this oh so deelish veggie today. :D

Go me.
 Now, zucchini doesn't really have much of a taste. It pretty much tastes like water since there is so much of it in the vegetable but I still love it. I've always loved zucchini...maybe it's a Greek thing. We love to slice this bastard and fry it up in some olive oil. We love to steam it and drown it in oil and lemon juice. And we love to do this next dish to it as well. It's basically zucchini cooked in tomatoes and I personally like to jazz it up with some mushrooms and red peppers as well.

   It's simple dimple. You heat up a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil in a pot and sautee some diced onions (garlic can also be added as well). Once those have a nice color on them, add your mushrooms of choice. Let the water evaporate from those suckers before you add the rest of the ingredients. Once the majority of your mushroom water has evaporated, add you zucchini, red peppers and fresh tomatoes (grated), some chopped up parsley and a few dried crushed chilies if you like some heat. Also, another great addition to this would be some diced up potatoes. Try and have the size of your zucchini and potatoes be the same so they can cook at the same time.  Salt and pepper and bring to a boil.

Love me some olive oil
       Once the liquid in the pot has started to boil, reduce your heat to a simmer and let it cook. It is important to avoid stirring as much as possible while this is cooking, especially towards the end. Zucchini is a pretty delicate veggie and can break apart easily so best thing to do is grab the handles of your pot and gently swirl it's contents. Your zucchini is ready when all the veggies are cooked and all the water from the water has evaporated. There is never a need to add water or any liquid whenever you're cooking veggies like zucchini because there is so much water contained in them that a lot of it is released in the cooking process which aids in cooking it as it evaporates.  Now if the veggies are done but there is still a bit of water, you can turn up the heat to high and have the water evaporate out faster but be careful when doing this. If you need to do this, keep an eye on your veggies so they don't end up being scorched  on the bottom and also you don't want to do this for too long because your veggies will end up being overcooked and mushy.  So yeah, it was delicious and healthy and you can enjoy it as is with some feta cheese crumbled on top and some fresh bread for dipping or it can make a perfect side dish to any type of meat or fish you are preparing (stew meat goes great with this as well).

   We had some left over and for a snack, I just heated up some flour tortillas, added some feta and some mashed up zucchini and called it a noche. Simple, fast, easy and yummy.

Definitely not reinventing the wheel here but simple (not to mention healthy) home cooked is just the best. Get creative, add whatever else you desire to this. Go crazy and ENJOY!!

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