Do you know what special event we are celebrating today? I bet you don’t…
It is “Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night”. Woohoo!
This is an actual thing, people. A gentleman in Pennsylvania, by the name of Tom Roy came up with the idea – there is even a Facebook Page for it!
As any gardener can tell you, this is an easy-to-celebrate day, because in August we are losing the battle with the zukes. Despite our best effort to pick them small, there are always a few that get away from us by hiding under a leaf – they turn into canoe hulls under there, and lay in wait for you to look at just the right angle to spot them. You can almost hear them laughing, as you lean over to wrestle one away from the plant!
In any case, we happen to be rather fond of zucchini, so we don’t mind eating nice, manageable little ones every night for dinner – so long as we have plenty of different recipes. This is one of our favorites.
It might sound like the slices will be too thick, but trust me – to get some really tasty color on there, you need them thick, or the squash will end up over-cooked and mushy, like Great Aunt Mary used to make it. No one wants that. And you definitely want a nice wide saute pan, so there is plenty of room. If you are serving more than 3 people, you might have to do it in two batches, depending on hungry they are, but this is done in ten minutes or so – you won’t mind.
Check out the caramelization on the slice in the last shot – that is just what you want, because that is SO tasty.
- 3 or 4 small zucchinis - 6 or 7 inches long and no more than 1&1/2 or 2 inches diameter.
- kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic - about 1 good sized clove
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice - about ½ a lemon's worth.
- Wash and dry the zucchini and slice it very thickly - about 1 & ⅓ inches thick or so.
- Lay the slices on a flat surface in a single layer, and salt and pepper the top side.
- Over medium high heat, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan until it begins to shimmer.
- Add the butter and swirl it in the pan to combine with the oil.
- Using a pair of tongs, lay each zucchini slice, salted side down in the pan in a single layer. Don't pile them up at all, or they won't get the color you want.
- Cook the first side until you can see that they are nicely browned.
- Carefully turn over each slice - holding a butter knife in your other hand to help the tongs is a good idea.
- Cook the second side until they are all nicely colored as well - the squash will be tender-crisp still, Remove the squash to a serving bowl, but leave the oil and butter in the pan.
- Lower the heat a bit, and saute the minced garlic for a minute or so, then add the lemon juice, stirring into the remaining oil in the pan to create a little bit of sauce.
- Immediately scrape the sauce out of the pan, onto the squash.
- Serve hot - refrigerate leftovers.