Having this blog has completely changed my view of zucchini. I started with a real disdain, you may remember, as the default vegetable used for any token vegetarian dish at a restaurant. I thought of it as bland, flavorless, pointless, even. Poor zucchini, I was really hard on it.
But man, you cook it right once, find a great recipe, and you realize that zucchini is wondrous! It can be paired with lemon! And with smoked cheese! And with blander cheese! And with basil! And with mint! And with basil and mint! With nutmeg, even! It will never be bland again!
But this, my friends, is zucchini shining through in its truest form – it literally melts in your mouth. The squash is cooked down until it turns into a spreadable consistency, and let me tell you, friends, that is just brilliant. Zucchini has impressed me yet again.
Zucchini Butter (slightly adapted from Food52)
For this flatbread, I spread zucchini butter on the bottom of the flatbread as the sauce. Then I layered baby spinach leaves on top, dolloped the whole thing with fresh ricotta, and then sprinkled with shredded mozzarella. De-lish.
2 lbs. zucchini, or a mix of zucchini and summer squash, grated
1 onion, minced finely
2 large, or 3 medium cloves of garlic, minced finely
2 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
In a deep pan, heat butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and sauté, stirring constantly, until translucent and well cooked. This will take about 7 minutes. Add garlic, and let it cook for a minute. Salt and pepper the onion mixture.
Add zucchini to the pan, and stir to combine. There will be a lot of water, and the goal will be to get rid of all of that water. Salt, pepper and keep cooking, stirring occasionally. If some of the zucchini gets charred, be happy, because that will add more flavor! Keep stirring to release the moisture – this whole process will take about 30 – 35 minutes.
When most of the moisture has evaporated, and the mixture has reduced in size by half. add the juice of the lemon. Stir and taste and adjust salt as necessary. Use this as a sauce, a base for a pizza, on toast, on a spoon, however you want.