Zucchini and Tomatoes – Quick and Easy

Now that it’s August, the summer gardens in New Jersey are starting to overflow with zucchini. You can see the result in neighborhoods everywhere –  people crossing streets with armloads of green squash harvested from their backyards. I’m always a smiling recipient of the bounty, especially since summer is the time when this delicious vegetable tastes best.

Luckily, my husband and my older son are very happy dining from the large platters of sautéed or grilled zucchini I cook up several times a week (my younger son Bradford, oh well….. there is always one in every family). A zucchini and tomato sauté made with fresh basil and a sprinkle of shredded Parmesan is the current favorite I’m serving with our dinners – – and it is also one of my favorites to cook. Not only does it help use up the pile of green squash taking up space on my kitchen counter, but it is quick and easy and it helps use up the forest of basil I have growing in a huge pot on my patio.

The best part is that I get to eat the leftovers for lunch. I like to sprinkle them with a little feta cheese or more of the Parmesan. I like them cold or slightly warmed in the microwave depending on my mood. My only problem – the dish is popular enough in this house that it’s often gone by the time I get to thinking about lunchtime. Hmm…… Well, no matter, there is a lot more zucchini in my kitchen. On to zucchini bread!

1 tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive oil
3 large zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds)
2 cups plum tomatoes, coarsely chopped into large chunks
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the zucchini and sauté until the pieces are golden brown and slightly tender. Add chopped tomatoes and basil; cover pan, turn heat to very low, and cook for about three minutes until the tomatoes start to sweat and release some of their juice (you don’t want to cook the tomatoes, just soften them). Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot or at room temperature. Top with additional grated Parmesan, if desired.

Cooks Note: Zucchini can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days in a tightly sealed container.

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