It is that time of year when fresh vegetables are coming off the vine. I love zucchini prepared on the grill as the hot dry heat allows the zucchini to lose its moisture without ending up in a soupy bath. Shredding the zucchini (without the seedy watery cores), tossing it in salt, draining and drying it also allows moisture in the vegetable to escape before you cook it in a pan so you do not end up with a mushy mess. Add in tomato, garlic, and some fresh basil….yummm. Give it a try.
5 medium zucchini (about 8 ounces each), ends trimmed
3 cored, seeded, and diced plum tomatoes
1 small clove minced garlic
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 3/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon plus 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for serving, if desired
1. Cut each zucchini crosswise into several pieces, each 2 to 3 inches long. Shred each piece on large holes of box grater, rotating as needed to avoid shredding seeds and core (which should be discarded); you should have about 10 cups shredded zucchini. Toss zucchini with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and place in colander set in medium bowl; let drain 5 to 10 minutes. Wrap zucchini in kitchen towel, in batches if necessary, and wring out excess moisture.
2 . Combine 3 cored, seeded, and diced plum tomatoes, 1 small clove minced garlic, 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves in small bowl and set aside. Place zucchini in medium bowl and break up any large clumps
3. Heat remaining 2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick skillet over high heat until faint smoke appears. Add zucchini and spread evenly in pan with tongs; cook without stirring until bottom layer browns, about 2 minutes; stir well, breaking up any clumps with tongs, then cook until “new” bottom layer browns, about 2 minutes more. Take off heat and stir in tomato mixture and salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan. Serve immediately, drizzling with additional olive oil, if desired.