Ruminations and recipes from a small kitchen in a big city.


Making zucchini interesting one ingredient at a time.

"The first zucchini I saw I killed it with a hoe," goes the famous quote, complete with superfluous pronoun.

Presumably the author gave up after his first kill, especially if he were to find Dave Barry's zucchini experience accurate: "You can't grow just one zucchini. Minutes after you plant a single seed, hundreds of zucchini will barge out of the ground and sprawl around the garden, menacing the other vegetables. At night, you will be able to hear the ground quake as more and more zucchinis erupt."

The point is that more boring a vegetable is, the more jokes are written about them. But nobody laughs at the following recipe.

Spiced zucchini stew with chick peas and olives.

Fry a large chopped onion in olive oil until soft.

Add two scored garlic cloves, a tablespoonful of grated orange zest, a teaspoonful of cummin and a half teaspoonful of dried crushed red pepper. Stir until well combined.

Now add about a half kilogram of diced white zucchini, two cans of diced tomatoes with their juice, a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas, and twenty pitted black olives. Salt to taste.

Simmer until the zucchini is tender. Add water if necessary.

Serve over peppered polenta: cook polenta, crack twenty black peppercorns in mortar and add them to the polenta along with salt to taste and grated parmesan cheese.

Garnish the stew with parsley, minced garlic and grated lemon zest.

You won't believe it's a zucchini.

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