Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sauteed Zucchini

September 1st. It's a bittersweet date. It's technically fall, and you know what is lurking around the corner. On the other hand, you have the growing season's late harvest to go with the precious few 80°F that sprinkle the first week or so of September. How many tomatoes have you eaten in the last 3 weeks? BLT's for dinner every other night? Mmmmmmmm, okay!

WTF? Is that a halloween store I just saw take up it's annual residence in that strip mall?

Sauteed Zucchini
4 servings, as side dish

3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
3 large cloves garlic, thinly sliced
kosher salt
1 large or 2 medium zucchini, 1/4" slices
1/4 C toasted almond slivers
basil chiffonade
lemon juice

To toast the almond slivers, use a small dry pan over medium-low heat. Stir often for about 3-5 minutes. Very often.

Get out the largest skillet you have. Heat up the fat over medium-high heat, toss in the shallots and cook for a couple minutes, stirring until slightly softened, then add the garlic and a 1/2 ts of kosher salt, stir constantly for a minute or so. Before the garlic burns, empty it and the shallot into a small dish, return pan to heat.

Keeping over medium-high heat, add a little more EVOO if necessary, lay the zucchini so theys all flush with the pan. Maillard reaction, it's all about the taste and texture. Cook on one side for about 4 minutes, then on the flip for 3. You may stir it up a bit once both sides have browned nicely. Remove from the heat, then toss in the almonds and basil. Taste for seasoning and add a little S&P if necessary. If you have a lemon on hand, squeeze a bit of juice over the zucchini for some fresh zing. Enjoy the textural contrast. And of course, the taste.

BLT is all about recipes for things that taste good. Everything else, like the quality of the food pics, comes second. You might have seen pics from other food blogs that I like, they are amazing. But they have SLR's, tripods, special things for lighting and whatnot. Smitten Kitchen takes gorgeous photos. Donna Ruhlman, Michael's wife, ditto. Sure, I know natural light is best, but I don't have windows in my kitchen- so when I caught some late afternoon light on my dining table and took pics of this zucchini, it was revolutionary to see what natural sunlight can do for a food photo.

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