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Posts Tagged ‘Zucchini’

Here is another dish that I made up on my own which is simple enough to make during the work week. Fresh zucchini is available all year but local zucchini can be found later in the summer in northern regions.

The quantities in this recipe are flexible depending on the size of the zucchini and how much spaghetti you like in a serving. For me, the recipe below makes two generous servings.

The cooking time for this dish is fairly quick and prep may be done while the water for the spaghetti is being heated. Part of the timing of this dish is dependent on how long the spaghetti takes to cook and how tender you like your pasta.IMG_0353

Oregano Chicken and Zucchini Tossed with Spaghetti – 1 Knife

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces dry spaghetti, thin spaghetti, or linguine
  • 2 small or one large zucchini sliced into ¼ – 3/8 inch circles or semicircles (for a large piece)
  • 1 pound (or less) boneless skinless chicken breast roughly cut into ½” dice
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed or minced
  • Dried oregano (plenty – 2+ tablespoons?)
  • Olive oil
  • Grated Parmesan cheese to taste (I like a lot on this dish)

Cook:

  • Set a pot of water on the stove to come to a boil.
  • In the mean time, rinse and dry zucchini and trim off the ends. Slice up and set aside (use a plate or bowl to hold zucchini now and the cooked zucchini later).
  • Dice up the chicken breast and season with salt.
  • Peel two cloves of garlic. (mince if not using a garlic press)
  • Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large non-stick pan over medium high heat.
  • Press one garlic clove into pan and mix around with the oil.
  • Toss zucchini into the oil so all pieces are coated then try to arrange in a single layer.
  • Sprinkle zucchini with a generous amount of oregano. (see photo)IMG_0352
  • Put pasta in the water. Set timer.
  • After a 2-3 minutes turn zucchini over.
  • After 2 more minutes remove zucchini from the pan.
  • Put another tablespoon of oil into the pan.
  • Press in the 2nd garlic clove into the pan.
  • Add chicken to the pan and mix around so pieces are evenly spread.
  • Sprinkle chicken with a generous amount of oregano.
  • After a couple of minutes stir around the chicken. Continue to let chicken cook and occasionally stir the chicken around until it begins to caramelize. Stir in the zucchini; lower heat to low. At this point, the pasta should have two minutes or less remaining. (Raise heat on chicken if you need to speed the caramelization up.)
  • Drain the pasta. Pour a little olive oil into the pasta and mix it around.
  • Add to frying pan and toss everything together. Turn off heat.
  • Serve
  • Top with a generous amount of grated parmesan.
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I’m going to let you all in on a secret: I write many of these posts a few days in advance.  As I type this it’s early in the evening Saturday the 8th, and like many of you this Saturday evening I am terribly distressed by today’s events in Arizona.  As I watched my Twitter feed and the news what struck me was the solidarity and clarity that we are a nation that does not tolerate violence in place of discourse, but when violence does strike we stand together unified and stronger than before.  My heart goes out to the families of all of the victims, the people of the 8th Congressional District, and the people of Arizona (and it goes without saying Aunt Susan and Aunt Nancy).

In keeping with warm, comforting foods for winter I made a hot and cozy batch of Ratatouille from the Moosewood Cookbook (Molly Katzen, 1997).  Given my mood, it was the perfect dinner on a somber evening.  All I was missing was a nice chunk of crusty bread to go with it.

Ratatouille makes for a great veggie-friendly winter stew, but it really does reach its full potential in the summer months when eggplant and zucchini are at their peak ripeness.  I highly recommend revisiting this recipe come summer.  This recipe serves from 4-6 so it also makes for a great recipe to cook on the weekend and eat the leftovers for lunch throughout the week.

 

Ratatouille – 1 Knife (Adapted from The Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen, which I recommend highly)

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 medium to large onion
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1½ teaspoons salt
  • 1½ teaspoons basil
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • ½ teaspoon rosemary
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes (I prefer no salt added)

Prep:

  1. Cut the ends off of the eggplant and then peel the skin off using a vegetable peeler.  Cut the eggplant into thirds length-wise.  Take those flat pieces and then cut into thirds length-wise again.  Cut the strips into 1-inch cubes.
  2. Cut the ends off of the zucchini.  Cut the zucchini in half down the length, and then cut those strips in half down the length again.  Cut the strips of zucchini into ½ inch cubes.
  3. Remove the seeds and core from the peppers by cutting off the top and bottom and then cutting around the core to remove.  Then cut the peppers into small strips.  This video helps to explain the process of removing the core.
  4. Remove the skin from the onion and chop into a small dice.  I used my chopper extension on my brand spanking new immersion blender to do the dicing, but for those without check out this video I’ve posted before.
  5. Peel the skin off of the garlic cloves.
  6. Measure out the salt, basil, oregano, rosemary and thyme and combine in a small bowl and set aside.

Cook:

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pan or Dutch oven over medium heat.  Once warm add to the pan the onions, garlic, and bay leaf.
  2. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add to the pot the eggplant and contents of the bowl of spices.  Stir to mix well and cover.
  4. Let simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes stirring occasionally.
  5. Add to the pot the zucchini, bell peppers, ground black pepper (to taste, about ¼ teaspoon), and tomatoes.  Stir to incorporate.
  6. Cover the pot and stir occasionally for about 10 minutes or until the zucchini and bell peppers become tender.
  7. Plate and serve!

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