Recently, while reading Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I was brought back to my own childhood on what I’ll call the Not-Quite-Farm. My grandparents had an enormous garden and as anyone with a garden knows, when zucchini come into season, they come in droves. You can’t give them away. Kingsolver even jokes that zucchini season is the only time that people in the country lock their doors. You don’t want someone to leave some in your car or on your kitchen table while you’re away.
So it was in our family, though we didn’t have terribly many zucchini-growing neighbors to worry about. Still, my grandmother had more than a few ways of using them up, particularly zucchini bread and zucchini pie (a quiche-like substance involving a great deal of Bisquick). And to accomplish these recipes, I spent my summers elbow deep in bowls of shredded zucchini.
When I got older, my mother preferred to bake the overload of this summer vegetable into fries, an option I still employ occasionally. And today’s trend – though not in our household – is to “spiralize” them and use them in place of noodles. But around here, my preference is just to chop them into rounds and sauté. From that starting point, you can do just about anything.
If you find yourself buried under zucchini this summer, here’s a place to start – with this fresh, zesty veggie and rice dish with a Moroccan twist.
Zucchini with Lemon & Herbs
serves 2, over rice (prepare 3/4 of a cup)
gluten free, vegan
- 1/2 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 medium carrot, julienned
- 1 medium zucchini, sliced into thin rounds
- lemon juice
- olive oil
- 2 leaves fresh sage, julienned
- 2 leaves fresh mint, julienned
- pine nuts
- salt & pepper
- Heat a small amount of oil in a sauté pan and add the onion and garlic. Lightly brown, then add carrot and zucchini. Season with salt and pepper.
- Once the zucchini becomes partially translucent, add the pine nuts, lemon juice, and fresh herbs. If you don’t have fresh herbs, add a small amount of the mentioned herbs, dried, about a 1/2 tsp each.
- Mix together to wilt the herbs and reduce the lemon juice. Add additional olive oil to lightly coat and serve on top of rice.
Zucchini and the herbs are coming into season. Enjoy them the way they’re meant to taste.