I love zucchini. It’s available year round (at least, it is here), is versatile, mellow, complimentary to many foods, and, most importantly, I can eat all I want of it! This recipe is inspired by the side dish I’ve had a couple of times at Carrabba’s, my new favorite restaurant.
Zucchini with onion, garlic, and basil
Bring a large skillet to medium heat. Drizzle in some olive oil. Add some chopped onion, stir it around a little, then add some thinly sliced zucchini. Stir the zucchini and onion around until it’s almost done, and add some sliced garlic and some fresh, chopped basil. Stir some more, and serve alongside just about anything, topping with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked pepper, if desired. Enjoy!
I can hear the cries now. I’m sure someone out there is reading this, hands clasped to either side of his or her head, moaning, “But how much zucchini? How much onion? How done is done?” I know you’re out there, because I used to be you! Where are the quantities? How much, how long, how many revolutions of the spoon in the pan?
Sigh. I used to be so tied to recipes. No wonder it took me so long to become a decent cook.
Luckily, I’ve gotten over a lot of that. (Except when it comes to baking. I still stick pretty close to the recipe when baking.) I’m pretty free in the kitchen now. When I make this recipe, it’s a little different each time. I overcook the onions and zucchini a little, because I like them “done”. If you don’t like them quite so “done”, stop cooking sooner. Use more zucchini and less garlic if you want. Leave out the basil, if you want. Add tomatoes if you want (that’s how they make it at Carrabba’s). Use yellow squash instead of zucchini, if you want. And if you really want to know, this is how I made it last night:
Bring a large skillet to medium heat.
Drizzle in 2-3 TBSP olive oil.
Add 1/2 cup chopped onion, stir it around the pan to coat. Cook just until onion begins to turn translucent, being careful not to brown it.
Add three small zucchini, sliced to approximately 1/4″, taking care to keep the slices uniform in size. Stir the zucchini and onion around until the zucchini begins to soften, again keeping an eye on the onion so it doesn’t brown. You might need to reduce the heat a little.
Add three cloves of garlic, sliced thin, and 2 TBSP fresh, chopped basil.
Stir for one to two minutes more, remove from heat, and serve , topping with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and freshly cracked pepper, if desired. Enjoy!
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