Listen to my mother. And to Russ. Cook your zucchini until limp and translucent. Dress them with lemon juice and mint. Eat them as you watch the sunset and mop up the juices with some bread. Feel the buttery crunch of pine nuts between your teeth and the faint zing of mint on your tongue. Decide never to cook zucchini another way again. Decide you really mean it.

Good luck with that.

Braised Zucchini with Mint and Lemon
Serves 4 to 6

2 pounds zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely diced onion
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Zest of 1/2 lemon
Salt
1 tablespoon chopped mint, divided
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts

1. Cut the ends from each zucchini, slice the zucchini in quarters lengthwise and then cut the quarters in half crosswise. You’ll have large pieces of zucchini about 2 to 3 inches long.

2. In a heavy-bottomed skillet, warm the olive oil and the onion over medium-low heat until the onion softens and becomes fragrant, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the zucchini, the garlic, lemon zest, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon mint and 2 tablespoons of water and stir well to combine. Reduce heat to low and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is extremely tender and almost translucent, about 25 minutes. There should be some liquid still in the bottom of the pan.

3. Remove the lid, add the lemon juice and increase heat to high. When the liquid begins to bubble, remove from heat and set aside uncovered. When the zucchini is at warm room temperature, stir in the remaining 2 teaspoons mint and the pine nuts, then taste and add more salt and lemon juice if necessary. Serve warm or at room temperature.

from russ parsons – wednesday chef.typepad

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