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


Fragrant white zucchini stew over peppered polenta with a gremolata of kale and rocket.

Recipes are few and far between here these days, so here's one with a long restaurant-style name (that must by chefs' law include at least every item in the recipe, often with several descriptors each).


Not so long ago Australian olive oil was an expensive 'gourmet' item. Now production is a torrent and it is available in four litre cans in supermarkets. About time. Who wants to pay top dollar for supposedly '100% olive oil' from Europe that isn't? All right, we've been through all this before, let's on with the recipe.


Saute a large chopped onion in olive oil (Cobram Estate, near the bees, see yesterday's post) until tender/translucent/melting/choose your own description. Or about five minutes if you prefer a prescribed time. Sometimes I do and sometimes I don't; although a prescribed time is dependent on variations in cooking heat and utensils so I veer to words. If they convey the sense well enough.

I digress. The onions are soft. That's it! Soft. Now 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 through the onions until well combined. Or a minute. Now add about a half kilogram of white zucchini (or green, but the paler ones looks nicer in this dish) chopped into centimetre dice, two cans of diced tomatoes with their juice and bring it to the point where it is bubbling.

Turn down the heat and simmer until the zucchini is tender. Ten minutes will do it. Now add a can of drained and rinsed chickpeas and twenty pitted black olives. Simmer another ten minutes at least; add water if necessary.

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

Garnish with a gremolata of what you have available: I chopped a sprig of parsley and a leaf each of rocket and kale and mixed these with minced garlic and grated lemon zest.


selena said...

Oh! Sounds nice. Bookmarking this one. Thanks from a hungry vegetarian.

Rose said...

Hi, I'm reading an awesome book which I think you may enjoy. Barbara Kingsolver, "Animal, Vegetable, Miracle". It's worth the jaunt to the bookshop.

jo said...

Am in love with polenta/grits lately. In fact workmate has moved to North Carolina and I have begged her to ship me some stone ground grits. (reported of course to be the *only* way to grind them. I shall report when they arrive. My fetish has been shrimp over polenta, but I adore the punchy gremolata idea.

kitchen hand said...

A pleasure, Selena.

Thanks for the tip, Rose. I'll check it out.

Polenta is vastly underrated and used here, Jo. It's all pasta, pasta, pasta.