When the next Weekend Cookbook Challenge theme was announced by Je Mange la Ville and it was "Farmers Markets" I was excited. I've been going to the local market on Sunday's all summer. I grabbed several cookbooks, found some great sounding recipes and bought tons of possible ingredients at the market. Alas when I actually thought about the Weekend Cookbook Challenge this weekend I found the only ingredient I had left which hadn't been used in something else were some zucchini. Fair enough, tons of zucchini recipes in my cookbook collection.
As an aside note here I would like to know where are all the farmers markets where you can actually talk to the folks selling the produce? The markets where you can ask questions about where the product comes from or what is the best way to prepare it? Cuz at my local market it's pretty much grab the food, get in line to pay and try to squeeze yourself out of the booth before you get trampled, hit with a shopping bag or trip over a baby stroller. None of the venders seem to have time to say anything but "that will be x amount of dollars please"....bit I digress....
I chose this recipe because the photo of the finished product looked so tasty. The La Cucina Italiana cookbook shows the zucchini with this deep dark color, like they had been cooked in a rich wine sauce or something. They looked really good so I set about preparing a side dish for dinner. And though this dish didn't taste bad at all, it looked NOTHING like the dish pictured in the cookbook when we sat down to eat it.
The recipe called for one "large" onion. I got about a cup or so of diced onion (by the way they say to chop the onion but in the photograph it looked diced to me), which turned out to be way to much onion for the dish. I guess their version of large and mine differ (I actually thought mine was medium large). When I put the zucchini in the (large by the way) pan as instructed, there was so much of the diced onion that the zucchini never made contact with the pan to get the "brown flecks" the recipe required. I turned the heat up, I tried to get the onions off the zucchini, but the zucchini just wouldn't brown. I then noticed after adding the liquid that my zucchini were much paler than the finished photo. I used chicken broth but think the veggie broth might have darkened the zucchini more to what the photo showed. It also took MUCH longer than the 8-10 minute time to evaporate the liquid (I had to raise the heat to try to boil off some of the juice).
All that being said, add more onions. Seriously, I really liked the taste of the onions with the zucchini! I would also next time dice the onions even smaller and push them all to the side to have the zucchini make contact with the pan for the "brown flecks".
ZUCCHINI WITH ONION AND GARLIC
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
6-7 small zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch slices
2/3 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
salt and ground black pepper
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish
Heat the olive and sunflower oils together in a large frying pan and add the chopped onion and garlic. Fry over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until the onion has softened and is beginning to brown.
Add the zucchini slices and fry for about 4 minutes, until they just begin to be flecked with brown, stirring frequently.
Stir in the broth, oregano and seasoning and simmer gently for 8-10 minutes, or until the liquid has almost evaporated.
Spoon the zucchini into a warmed serving dish, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve. Serves 4.
Tip from the Cookbook: If you can find them, choose small zucchini which tend to be much sweeter than the larger ones.
Note: I used canola oil instead of sunflower oil. I did not garnish with parsley.
I'll post the link to the WCC #30 as soon as it's up.