I’m always trying to find different ways to prepare zucchini, as we both love it so much. One of my favorite recipes is a simple stir-fry like this one, but the timing (and the size of your pan) must be just right, as a slight variation will result in overcooked, limp zucchini, with no bite whatsoever.  This recipe from Fine Cooking follows a totally different path to the stir-fry happy-ending.  Pieces of zucchini are lightly salted and sit for 10 minutes, a process that will draw out a lot of moisture and the bitterness that might turn some people off.  After that, you will be on your way to a tasty side dish.

(adapted from Fine Cooking magazine #65)

2 medium zucchini
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt + more for seasoning
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled
3 oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, drained and finely diced
6 fresh basil leaves, torn into large pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lemon, juiced

Wash the zucchini and dry them with paper towels. Trim off the ends and quarter the zucchini lengthwise. Arrange the zucchini, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with the salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Blot the quarters dry with the paper towels. Cut each quarter on the diagonal into 3/4-inch-thick pieces.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Pour in 2 Tbs. of the oil. When the oil is hot, add the zucchini and garlic, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini browns and softens enough that you can cut through it with the side of a fork, about 5 min. Take the pan off the heat, toss in the sun-dried tomatoes and basil, and season generously with salt and pepper. Drizzle with the lemon juice and  serve immediately.


to print the recipe, click here

Comments:  I have a bit of a troubled relationship with sun-dried tomatoes.  The ones that come packed in oil are often too greasy for my taste, but their texture is much better than the dry-packed ones. My approach is to buy the ones in oil, and before incorporating in the dish let them rest on a piece of kitchen paper to blot the excess oil away.

Fresh tomatoes would not deliver the same punch of flavor.  Sun-dried tomatoes are similar to red pepper flakes, instead of having their flavor uniformly diluted across the dish, they give you little spikes of heat.  Perfect!

This was a delicious way to prepare zucchini, yet another recipe that can be adapted in many ways.  Try adding roasted red bell pepper in place of sun-dried tomatoes, cilantro instead of basil, a bit of mint…  Don’t omit the lemon juice, though.  It is a must!

ONE YEAR AGO: Orzo with Heirloom Tomato Relish

TWO YEARS AGO:  Headed to Brazil!

THREE YEARS AGO: The Rhubarb Brouhaha: Revelation Compote

FOUR YEARS AGO: Love me tender…


It is almost impossible to find a person whose life has not been touched by cancer. Whether friends, family members or co-workers, we all know someone who either battled this disease and hopefully beat it, or sadly, someone whose life was cut short by it.

A Taste of Yellow is a food blogging event that started through the initiative of Barbara from “Winos and Foodies”, who is herself a cancer survivor. You can read her touching tribute here.  She launched this event in support of  The Lance Armstrong Foundation, an organization with the goal of increasing cancer awareness in society.

Food bloggers participate by sharing their stories and a recipe with a yellow ingredient; Barbara assembles all the links and publishes them in her website. This year the event was postponed until October 2nd, to fall on the 10th anniversary of Lance Armstrong’s cancer diagnosis (LiveStrong Day). As everyone knows, he not only won that medical battle, but went on to win the Tour de France seven times! And after taking some time off from competing he went back at it this year and finished in third place.   Of course, he did run a few marathons while away from the “Tour”…   Talk about an inspirational story!

This is my first time in “A Taste of Yellow”. I chose yellow zucchini to convey the “LiveStrong” message.


Even though yellow is often associated with lemons, a nice golden zucchini also says yellow in all its glory… This past week our farmer’s market had such beautiful golden zucchini for sale that I had to bring some home with me!

I went with a mix and match of recipes, joining the method from Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone and my favorite yogurt sauce from Mediterranean Fresh.  I tweaked the yogurt sauce ever so slightly.  Both cookbooks are amazing, by the way…


(receita em portugues na proxima pagina)


for the veggies:
2 golden zucchini
1 green zucchini
1 T olive oil
freshly ground black pepper

for the sauce:

1/2 cup Greek style yogurt
1 T olive oil
1 T fresh lemon juice
1 T fresh mint leaves, minced
pinch of cayenne pepper
salt to taste

Remove both ends of the zucchini; slice them in half crosswise, then lengthwise in 1/3 inch-thick slices. Cut each slice again, into sticks, also 1/3 inch thick, as shown in photo. Sprinkle the slices with salt and place them in a colander for 20-30 minutes. Rinse well and drain, pat dry.

Prepare the sauce by mixing all the ingredients. If using regular yogurt, then drain it for a couple of hours, because you need thick yogurt for this recipe.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan, and add the zucchini sticks when its very hot. Cook them undisturbed for a couple of minutes to get the pieces lightly browned, then move them around, cooking for a total of 5 minutes.

Transfer the zucchini to a bowl and spoon some of the sauce over it when serving. Garnish with fresh mint, if you like.


To print the recipe, click here.

jump for comments, photos and receita em portugues…

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