A Squared: Friday Finds: Zucchini Rounds Simmered in Fresh Tomato Sauce

Friday, August 9, 2013

Friday Finds: Zucchini Rounds Simmered in Fresh Tomato Sauce

Happy Friday to you!

I'm enjoying some R & R up in northern Michigan today and wanted to share an easy and flavorful summer side dish. It consists mostly of fresh veggies, so this is the perfect dish to make after a trip to the farmers market (that's what I did!) while the produce is abundant and looking good.

This recipe comes from one of my new favorite cookbooks Modern Mediterranean by Melia Marden. I was drawn to the recipe first because of its simplicity and second because it reminded me of a dish my mom used to make when I was growing up. We had a big vegetable garden in our backyard when I was a kid and before she knew better, my mom planted a few zucchini plants. If you've grown zucchini, you know where I am going with this... we ate SO much zucchini that summer! We joked that it was in every dish my mom made-- including a chocolate zucchini cake that she baked for us, which was surprisingly good. She also used to simmer zucchini slices in her homemade marinara sauce and serve it over pasta for dinner and I loved it. I still love it!

This recipe takes my childhood favorite a step further with sauce made from fresh tomatoes and simply flavored with a bay leaf and garlic. This side dish is simple and versatile-- you could serve it with just about anything. I served ours as a side dish for grilled balsamic tuna steaks and polenta.

  • 3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 ripe vine tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (seeds and juices included)
  • 1/2 tsp. Kosher salt
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 2 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch thick rounds
  • Freshly ground black pepper

In a wide saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat for 30 seconds. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic just turns golden around the edges, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, salt, and bay leaf. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes are pulpy and broken down, about 5 minutes.

Add the zucchini and stir until they are well coated with the tomato sauce. Cover and cook until the zucchini are tender, lifting the lid and stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes.

Season generously with pepper and serve.

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