Minted Zucchini and Mushrooms
Mint always pairs well with Zucchini, and the convenience of canned Button Mushrooms makes this a delicious side dish for lamb-chops, steaks, and virtually any roast, or hearty main dish. In this recipe, the zucchini is first grilled to harness the power of the Maillard reaction, and to add a lovely smokiness to the finished dish.
The Basic Method
The first step is to cut the zucchini in half, toss them with a little oil, salt, and pepper, then quickly grill them at high heat. The idea here is to make some nice dark grill marks without overcooking the flesh beneath. The caramelization that makes these grill marks will lend some wonderful sweet and smoky notes to the Zucchini, and ultimately to the finished dish. A barbecue with charcoal or wood would be ideal here, but failing that, you can get very mice results using a ridged grill pan, as I have done here.
Once the zucchini halves are grilled, allow them to cool (and even chill them in the refrigerator if you have time). Just before you are ready to cook, cut the halves into smaller chunks with each piece being roughly about the same size as the canned Button Mushrooms.
The next step is to heat a little oil in a pan over a good high heat and then sear the mushrooms until they show patches of almost crispy gold here and there. This really improves the flavor of canned mushrooms.
Even more flavor will be added to the mushrooms, and to the finished dish, by next braising them with white wine and lemon juice. A little butter rounds out the flavor and the process of braising is complete when the liquid has almost completely evaporated or been absorbed.
The dish is finished by adding the Zucchini back to the pan along with the Mint, sautéing everything for a very brief time in order to reheat the Zucchini without actually cooking it any further, and then plating for immediate service.
Your Recipe Card:
Minted Zucchini and Mushrooms
- 2 small Zucchini;
- 1 can Button Mushrooms;
- Salt and Pepper;
- Vegetable Oil;
- ½ tsp. Garlic Puree;
- 2 tbsp. Butter;
- 1 tbsp. Lemon Juice;
- 1 tbsp. Dry White Wine;
- 2 -3 tbsp. finely shredded fresh Mint;
- Cut the zucchinis in half and toss with a little oil, salt and pepper.
- Heat a barbecue, or ridged grill pan, to a good high heat and quickly grill the zucchini halves on each side to produce nice golden grill marks.
- Allow the zucchini halves to cool, and then cut the halves into small chunks about the same size as the button mushrooms.
- Heat a little oil in a pan over a good high heat and then sear the mushrooms until they show patches of almost crispy gold here and there.
- Turn down the heat and add the butter, garlic puree, and white wine. Sauté until the wine has mostly evaporated.
- Finally, add the zucchini pieces and the lemon juice, stir for a minute or two and add the shredded mint. Continue to cook until all is heated through then plate for service.