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Friday, August 2, 2013

Zucchinis and Twitter

Zucchinis and Twitter

It's that time of year again when good looking zucchinis are in every New Jersey market, and you can't help buying them because they look so fresh and healthful.  If you have a garden you probably have been resorting to dropping zucchinis off at neighbors houses. (Ringing the front door bell and running? -  well, maybe not that bad.)

In any case, here's a yummy way to not only use up but to enjoy zucchinis (and/or any kind of summer squash) in a versatile and delicious preparation:  Zucchini Butter.

(from Food 52's website)
Zucchini Butter is perfect warm and unctuous slathered on bruschetta, as a dip for crackers, carrot sticks or even zucchini sticks.  Or you can just do what my friend Carol did and simply eat this out of the bowl.  She proclaimed this "the best zucchini I ever ate", and my friend Barb texted me the next day for the recipe to make for her weekend guests.

This comes from the website Food 52, which I initially found because it sponsors and publishes an awesome competition for the best cookbooks of the year, but which I keep in my Twitter feed because it showcases some of the best food trends and recipes out there.  (, @food52 on Twitter)

Did I mention that Zucchini Butter is easy, cheap, and would keep well in the fridge for a day or two if all of it is not eaten immediately?

Yep, you should buy some zucchinis right now and have this tonight.  Disclaimer -  this may have been fantastically delicious because of the great quality of the ingredients I used:  fresh from the farm zucchinis and onion, flaky Maldon sea salt, black pepper imported by a friend from India, and olive oil purchased from Natirar Restaurant which they import themselves from Tuscany.  Which all goes to prove that sometimes great cooking is really just great shopping.

But don't despair if you don't have these same exact ingredients - the silky smooth "buttery" texture that the zucchini takes on from cooking down and having its flavors concentrated will still be present and wonderful; if not that elusive sweetness and freshness that you get from cooking with just picked ingredients.

Jennie Cook's Zucchini Butter adapted from Food 52's Twitter Feed, from July 24, Kristen Miglore

1/4 cup good tasting extra virgin olive oil
1 small white onion (OR 2 shallots, OR 3 large cloves of garlic - in fact, anything from the allium family, to give that onion-y flavor)
Sea salt, if you have it, kosher or regular salt if you don't
Freshly cracked black pepper
3 or 4 medium zucchini (1.5 to 2 lbs.), grated to make anywhere from 6 to 8 cups (can mix in yellow summer squash too!)

Saute the onion (or shallots), sprinkled with salt and pepper, in the olive oil in a large skillet on medium low heat for 5 or 10 minutes until softened and translucent.  (If using garlic, cook only for 30 - 60 seconds.)

In the meantime, squeeze out handfuls of the zucchini to rid the squash of excess water, and then add all the wrung out grated zucchini to the skillet.  Add more salt, turn up the heat to medium high, and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes.  It's ok if the zucchini browns here and there, it will just add to the flavor.

Serve warm, or gently reheat if used later.  Yields about 2 cups.

Enjoy the bounty of the Garden State in summer!  And sign up for my All About Twitter class at the Library on Friday, September 27 from 12 - 1 to learn how to get connected.

Diane Whitman
Reference Librarian
Jersey Girl/ Tweeter


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Diane, I plan to make this tonight! Just picked up a 6 pound zucc. from my mom's garden! Thanks for sharing these great ideas.