Slow cooked zucchini

I think everyone who has ever had a garden has had too much zucchini at least once. The proliferation of recipes for zucchini: zucchini breads, zucchini muffins, zucchini cookies, zucchini pickles etc, speaks to the ingenuity of gardeners and cooks in finding ways to use up an excess of zucchini. This recipe uses a lot of zucchini. It is cooked for a very long time, and as it cooks the moisture is evaporated so it becomes sweet and condensed; the essence of zucchini. Another great thing about this recipe is that you can freeze the final product. This is one of the few ways you can freeze zucchini and have an acceptable product when you reheat it. I love to just pull some out of the freezer, heat it in the microwave and sprinkle it with some Parmesan or Romano cheese for a quick vegetable dish in the winter.

Our favorite variety of zucchini is a an Italian variety called Costata Romanesco.

    Costata Romanesco Zucchini

It is a very firm variety with few seeds, is less watery than the standard zucchini and is very productive. We grew both the Costata and some standard zucchini this year and I used them both in this recipe.

I preheated the oven to 425 while I was preparing the zucchini. This can also be done on the stove-top if you have a smaller batch and a large frying pan.

I trimmed the ends off of the zucchini and then shredded them. I had a big bowl of shredded zucchini.

I chopped up some garlic (2 large cloves) and 1 onion and put them in a roasting pan with about 2 Tablespoons of olive oil.

I stirred it around to get everything coated with oil, then placed it in the oven for 3 minutes. If you make this on the stove you would just saute these ingredients until they are soft. Don’t let the garlic get brown.

I took it out of the oven, added the zucchini and a small pinch of  salt and some grinds of pepper, spread the zucchini out evenly and then put it back in the oven.

After 10 minutes I opened the oven, stirred it up, spread the zucchini back out evenly, and let it cook for 10 more minutes. I did this one more time, so the total cooking time was about 30 minutes. It takes about the same amount of time on the stove but you need to stir it more often, about once every 5 minutes. When it is finished all of the moisture will have cooked out and it will be starting to brown around the edges. Do not allow it to get very brown.

It will look like this when if is finished. Notice how much smaller the pile of zucchini is now!

That whole pile of zucchini will serve about 6 bowls this size, which is about 3/4 of a cup:

It would take a lot of loaves of zucchini bread to use up that much zucchini!

© 2011. Dayna Green-Burgeson RD, CDE. All Rights Reserved.

Reproduction of any content in the article without the written persmission of the author is prohibited.


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