Not long before writing this post, I happened to throw together a little vegetable side dish for a steak I was cooking. I used a half zucchini I had left over, along with some tomatoes and herbs, and the result was so tasty I thought I would share. I actually ended up embellishing the original recipe somewhat, notably by including mushrooms this time, but, as you will see, my opinion as to the success of those embellishments was a little mixed…
- 2 small Zucchini
- 2 medium Tomatoes, chopped in large dice;
- 1 can whole Button Mushrooms;
- 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice;
- ¼ cup Chicken Stock;
- 1 Tbsp. fresh Thyme;
- 1 pinch Garlic Salt;
- 1 Tbsp. Butter.
I first cut the zucchini into chunks about the size of the mushrooms then tossed them with a little lemon juice to add a little flavor fillip and keep the color fresh until needed during the actual cooking process.
I fried the mushrooms in a little oil over high heat until toasty brown patches appeared. This always improves the flavor.
Next, I added the zucchini and as soon as a few pieces started to show some browning, I added the stock and cooked until the zucchini had softened a little.
Finally, I added the tomatoes along with the garlic salt and thyme and, when the tomatoes had collapsed, I stirred in the butter to round out the sauce and served it right away (after taking the requisite picture, of course).
The result was, I thought, pretty much a confirmation of the basic principle that simpler is often better… The first time, I just sautéed tomato and then added the zucchini with sage, salt and a little butter. That’s all I did and I enjoyed that version a lot more. If I was going to try the above again, I would make the following changes:
- Used sliced fresh mushroom, instead of canned whole ones;
- Braise the mushrooms with the stock and lemon juice before browning;
- Allow less of the seed and watery pulp of the tomatoes to go into the dish;
- Replace the thyme with sage and parsley;
- Increase the salt somewhat; and,
- Maybe add just a pinch of sugar to offset the acidity.