This Balsamic Zucchini dish was the recipe I chose to participate in this months gourmet, unbound. I realize there are plenty of other summer vegetables available this time of year that I could have cooked, but I liked the idea of doing something different with zucchini. The recipe came from the July 2004 issue of Gourmet.
Though I enjoyed this dish, it wasn't something that made me stand up and go "awesome". It was a perfect side dish to our dinner, it had a good taste, but I wasn't "wowed". I did like the crunch the combination of the Parmesan cheese and pine nuts gave to the zucchini. I also liked the fact that the zucchini didn't get mushy.
Simple to make, nice flavor and I admit, a nice change from just steamed, plain roasted or fried zucchini. If I was going to make this again I think I'd use my "expensive" balsamic instead of my "regular", maybe that would kick it up a bit. I also think I needed to put it closer to the broiler to get more of a char on the top of the zucchini than I did.
BALSAMIC ZUCCHINI4 lb medium zucchini, cut diagonally into 3/4-inch-thick slices
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 1/2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Regiano (1/2 cup)
1/3 cup pine nuts, (1-oz) toasted and finely chopped
Preheat broiler. Toss zucchini with oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Arrange zucchini in 1 layer in 2 shallow backing pans (1 inch deep). Broil 1 pan of zucchini 3 to 5 inches from heat, without turning, until browned in spots an beginning to soften, 4 to 6 minutes.
Drizzle 2 tablespoons vinegar over broiled zucchini and shake pan a few times, then continue to broil until most of vinegar is evaporated, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle 1/4 cup cheese over broiled zucchini and broil until cheese is melted, about 1 minute more.
Cook remaining pan of zucchini in same manner. Cool to room temperature and serve sprinkled with pine nuts.
Serves 6 as a side dish.
Note: Per Gourmet, Balsamic Zucchini (without pine nuts) can be made 3 hours ahead and kept at room temperature or chilled, covered. Sprinkle with pine nuts just before serving.
Note: I cut the recipe in half and had plenty for two with leftovers.
Note: Make sure to keep the slices of zucchini pretty thick. I had cut a few smaller pieces and they got mushy.
Note: Not sure I would like this at room temp or cold. We ate it almost right out of the oven.
Other dishes in the Gourmet June 2004 edition that are bookmarked: Blueberry Buckle; Watermelon, Arugula, and Pine Nut Salad; Oven-Roasted Tomatoes; Honeydew Lime Popsicles; Tahini Chicken Salad; Grilled Leg of Lamb with Rosemary Salt. All these recipes can be found at Epicurious.com.