Every gardener loves to lament that they get overrun with zucchini and have to resort to baking too much zucchini bread or, worse, ringing the doorbell, dashing and leaving them on people’s doorsteps. Well, let me tell you: you’re doing it wrong.
The way to avoid being overrun with zucchini is pick them when they are tiny and delicious. This recipe can easily use a dozen of them, along with most of the blossoms! Using up a dozen woody, pithy, flavorless giant zucchini is an unpleasant chore indeed. So get out there, grab a bunch of baby zukes and cook them up into this delicious side dish, flavored with with “cheater sofrito” that uses tomato paste to reduce the cooking time.
Hint for leftovers, should there be any: fill a bowl with pinto beans and top with the zucchini and sauce. Microwave. Top with smoked cheddar, a fried egg, and lots of cilantro and hot sauce. Yes.
Got still more zucchini blossoms? Try this.
Baby Zucchini and Blossoms with Sofrito
Serves 4 as a side dish
Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and kosher
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 white onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 big pinch chili flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- 1/2 pound baby zucchini, trimmmed; halve only if they are more than 1/2″ in diameter
- Minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 6 squash blossoms, petals separated
- Place the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When it is shimmering, add the onion, garlic, chili flakes and kosher salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion starts to brown, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and reduce the heat to medium low. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the sofrito is a rust-colored paste, about 5 more minutes.
- Stir in the red wine to loosen the sauce. Add the zucchini and partially cover the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is fully tender, about 10 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. It may need more salt or wine.
- Stir in the parsley, reserving a bit for garnish. Stir in the squash blossom petals, reserving a few petals for garnish.
- To serve, transfer to a bowl and garnish with the reserved parsley and squash blossoms.