I know a lot of you have gardens and are just gearing up for the too-many-zucchini season. But for now, they are small and cute and you just can’t get enough of them. I’m sure you are just barely steaming them, and enjoying them as they are, not looking for anything creative.
But soon, I know, you are going to be whining about how you should have just planted one plant, and not six. We planted eight. I know, I know...but we got going late this year, and things just got away from me at the nursery. What can I say? I do it every year.
Since we just planted in our orto in Umbria last week, our plants are way behind, and still weeks away from producing anything. So in the meantime I sent Domenico to the supermarket on Friday and asked him to get a kilo of zucchini. He came back with the smooth, dark green kind, which I never really think are as good as the ridged romanesco ones. But, there I was, with a kilo of so-so zucchini.
So, here is what I made, which was fabulous. So make sure you bookmark this recipe when things start to get boring in your own zucchini world.
1 large red onion, sliced
salt and pepper
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1.5 pounds zucchini, sliced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1/3 cup fresh chopped herbs (I used thyme, marjoram and basil)
1 can cherry tomatoes (I got a fantastic can from the store in Orte. Best I’ve ever had. But you can certainly substitute good cherry tomatos)
1/2 cup grated parmesan
Preheat oven to 350F (180C)
Heat olive oil, and turn up heat. Add onion and saute, over high-ish heat. I cooked all of this over high heat so everything sort of carmelizes, and doesn’t get mushy.
When softened, add zucchini. Cook, stirring, until it starts to cook (but don’t over cook!) Add herbs and garlic and stir a few times. Add tomatoes. If using canned, also pour in juice. If using fresh, add 1/4 cup of water. Let bubble and simmer for about 5 minutes, until juice is absorbed. Taste for salt.
Pour all of this into an oiled oven dish. You should have lots of carmelized gunk at the bottom of the pan. Pour in 1/4 cup of water, and scrape it up, and then add that too.
Sprinkle parmesan over all, and put in oven for about 20 minutes, till bubbling and cheese is melted and starting to brown.