Patience isn’t a virtue that I was blessed with. I have always preferred the hot flame to baking or braising, but I have come to learn that a slow sauté can create some of the most humble and glorious creations. It makes sense, because a lot of cooking happened on woodstoves for centuries. Think caramelized onions, which actually require almost 40 minutes to coax their natural sugars to perfection. The same is true of good quality sausage; a long, low pan fry is the best way to cook a sausage. There is no need to crank up the stove and create a sear at the start as you would with a pork chop; the sear comes later when you let the pan fry it slowly for almost 40 minutes.
My Italian cousin who lived in Bologna told me how her friends there would create a pasta dish by sautéing zucchini “until it almost disappeared,” and then toss it with pasta. I was intrigued as she waxed poetic about how sweet and molten the zucchini became, almost like an entirely different vegetable. It turns out this low and slow technique to cooking zucchini is fantastic. I didn’t toss it with pasta here but one could serve it with bread. It’s that good.
- 2 zucchini, about 1½ pounds
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- ¼ cup good quality olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs you have handy; mint and basil are a favorite when paired with zucchini, but I also added chives and marjoram
- Olive oil to mix with herbs (not too much)
- Shaved Parmesan to your liking
- Clean and slice the zucchini into rounds about 1/8 inch thick
- Mince the garlic
- Heat a large sauté pan to a medium high heat. Add the zucchini rounds and the garlic, then lower the heat.
- The garlic should never turn brown, and this is a great way of seeing if you are at the right temperature.
- Sauté the zucchini until it almost disappears, flipping them every 10 minutes for at least 30 minutes. Because the flame is at a low setting you can prepare other things while they are sautéing.
- Some of the pieces will not be as caramelized as others. (This is ok)
- Meanwhile mince the herbs and add a bit of olive oil to soften the pesto, but be mindful there will be olive oil from the pan as well.
- Dress the caramelized zucchini with the pesto and top with a bit of cheese.
Sliced up zucchini put in the pan they will shrink A lot!
the final product!!Pin It