Monday, December 01, 2008


Look, yet another way to combine vegetables with shallots and lemon! I will never tire of those flavors. This is a nice, simple-but-interesting side dish that reminds me, with its crisp greenness, of deconstructed zucchini fritters. It reminds A, for some strange reason, of Rice-a-Roni. But don’t let that put you off; he clarifies, “I always liked Rice-a-Roni!” I’ve never tasted Rice-a-Roni myself, but surely it doesn’t have a shallot-and-lemon flavoring? Still, I suppose the shape and texture of the shredded zucchini is vaguely rice-like, and maybe the nutty brownness it achieves when briefly sautéed over high heat is somehow reminiscent of rice too? Or we could all just ignore A on this one.

Anyway, aside from the minor travail of shredded and squeezing the zucchini, this is an easy and fast-cooking recipe to throw together, and it will pair well with most flavors. We ate it with the splendid roast chicken with pears, shallots, and leeks, and the fact that I even remember we had a side dish at all in the face of such blinding magnificence should tell you that this one is surely worthwhile. The original recipe says it serves four, but the two of us ate it all in one sitting.

5 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
1½ teaspoons salt
2 shallots, minced
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1–2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

1. Shred zucchini (on large holes of a box grater or with shredding disk of a food processor). Place zucchini in a colander in the sink and toss zucchini with 1½ teaspoon salt. Let drain for at least 10 minutes. Wrap zucchini in a kitchen towel (in batches if necessary) and wring out extra moisture.

2. Place zucchini in a medium bowl and break up any large clumps. Add shallots and 2 teaspoons oil and toss to combine thoroughly.

3. Heat remaining 1 teaspoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add zucchini mixture and spread evenly. Cook without stirring until bottom layer browns, about 2 minutes. Stir well, breaking up any clumps, then cook until new bottom layer browns, about 2 minutes more.

4. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.

Serves: 2-4
Time: 20 minutes
Leftover potential: Unknown

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