Real Food for Real Life

Monday, July 26, 2010

That darn zucchini...

Roasted Zucchini Pasta and Chicken Piccata

Last summer and fall I was gifted with a super abundance of zucchini (the darn rabbits kept eating mine), and I was putting that wonderfully versatile veg into everything.  Unfortunately, I used this veg so much that the family revolted and called a moratorium on its usage.  "No big deal," I thought, "I'll just put the rest up in the freezer."  Over the winter I was able to start using zuchs again, using the little baby ones from the grocery store and not a complaint was heard.  

The downside to having that freezer in the basement is that I sometimes forget what I have down there.  I was rooting through it last week to see what I had and found the zucchini I had put away last fall.  Goodness, it was 10 months old!  Should I keep it or just toss it?  I decided to try using it...

Knowing that frozen zucchini releases much of its water when thawed, I decided to take advantage of this.  I let it thaw on the counter and then dumped all 16 (!) cups into a colander.  After giving it all a squeeze, much like you would frozen spinach, I was left with about 7 cups which I tossed in a large baking dish with some finely diced red bell pepper, ivadalia onion, lots of garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, and about 1/2 cup of olive oil.  I roasted this at 450 until all tender and starting to brown- concentrated zucchini goodness.  Now, while I wouldn't recommend keeping your veggies frozen this long, it turned out tasty indeed.  (I would, however, recommend roasting up some of the FRESH zucchini abundance in this same manner, and abundance that you will surely have before summer ends.  This would be good tossed with pasta, served as a side, spooned onto crostini, or tucked a lasagna or other casserole.)

I put this away in the fridge and pulled it out later in the week for dinner.  Warmed up and tossed with cooked whole grain rotini and plenty of grated parmesan, it made a fine dinner.   With Ina Garten's chicken piccata, it gave me all the lemony, buttery, and garlicky goodness I had been wanting since I ate that braised artichoke.

Next time around, I'll share that piccata with you..

3 comments:

  1. that looks great Mary....I love zucchini....I found a great recipe for baked zucchini sticks that your kids would probably love.....it's from a fellow food blogger For the Love of Cooking or you can find it on my blog as well. I think you would really like it. They are just as good as the fried kind but much healthier

    Have a great day!
    Sandi

    ReplyDelete
  2. I like the idea of zucchini fries and the kids would as well, but I dare say that Ben would have no part of them :( Baked fries is all I make b/c I don't deep fry at home (don't want the mess or smell).

    Have a great day!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. On Facebook:
    Tracey said: sounds good. I have learned to love zucchini..i love it roasted in the oven with olive oil, garlic and salt n pepper. I never liked it until i had it this way in italy in 2005..now I'm a convert... Of course I've always loved zucchini bread, but its hidden in there u dont even taste it at all
    July 26 at 5:25pm

    ReplyDelete

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