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Last week we were at Walmart and we checked out their produce section to find beautiful fresh organic zucchini that was firm, deep green and all over beautiful!
That night we had some pasta and in my attempt to try and add more veggies I took out some zucchini, sliced them up, sauteed them in olive oil and garlic, and the rest is history. I’ve provided the super easy recipe below.
Zucchini Nutritional Benefits
Zucchini is a fruit but usually treated as a vegetable. The Italian word for it is Zucchine. It has potassium, vitamin C, B1, B2, carotene, protein and vitamin E too. It’s a great fruit/vegetable to include in your repertoire of side dish foods, especially in the summer.
Sauted Zucchini – The basics
If you learn the basics of cooking zukes then you can add and expand from there.
Yep, they’ve got water content
While it may not look it, zucchini has a high water content. That’s why when you saute it you don’t have to add water as it will naturally release it’s own water. This is a mistake I made when I started using it in my recipes. So, I keep the lid on when I saute for most of the time, as this speeds up the cooking time, but you’ve got to be mindful of the texture you want.
The temperature matters.
When sauteing the zucchini keep the heat no higher than medium. If frying (like for a Mexican dish) keep it higher and it will brown more. I tend to do a mix as I don’t like mine mushy and I don’t like it looking burnt either!
Saute alone or add in more veggies to change up the recipe
Zucchini sounds so boring but it certainly doesn’t have to be. In our house we saute zucchini with olive oil and garlic. We also saute it with scrambled eggs and cheese. One of my favorites is using fresh zucchini, garlic, adding in fresh chopped tomatoes, add a pinch of salt and then add in some penne pasta that is al-dente. Let the flavors blend for a bit and even add some fresh basil. Don’t forget the Romano cheese!
Oh yes, and don’t forget fried zucchini one of my ultimate favorites! Thank heavens for these zucchinis, I get so happy just thinking of these recipes!
Types of zucchini you can use including Italian!
Zucchini is part of the squash family, that’s why the two are so similar. I’ve also substituted the zucchini with yellow squash in some recipes, but I prefer the zukes!
There is Italian zucchini which is my utmost favorite. It’s got a white skin and it’s a very mild flavor, perfect for people not crazy about typical zucchini. It takes some convincing for people to try it if they aren’t fans, but they are usually very surprised.
Just go seed shopping for the summer and you’ll see Black Beauty, Hybrids, Italian Ribbed, bush varieties and vine varieties too. Pay close attention to the latter if space is a concern if you plan on growing them. However even bush varieties get HUGE and vines spread… like all over the place!
So enough of that.
Here’s the recipe.
Easy Sauteed Zucchini Recipe
Not sure what to do with your zucchini? Here's one of my favorite ways to cook zucchini Italian-style! It's super fast and healthy. Goes great with a dish of pasta!
- 3 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 3 cloves of garlic
- 2 zucchini
- italian grated cheese Romano preferred
Start by slicing the zucchini into 1/4 inch rounds or even thinner, set aside
Heat the olive oil in a frying pan until medium, not super hot
Crush some garlic (don't mince), and add to the olive oil, stirring a bit and don't let it burn
When the garlic is fragrant, it's time to add the zucchini slices in
Spread the zucchini out and move them around periodically, they'll shrink a bit as water is released.
When done to your liking (I like mine slightly firm not mushy), remove from heat
Serve with some pasta, fresh salad or fresh italian bread!