Zucchini Savory Jam

INGREDIENTS:

1 rib of celery, cut medium dice
1/2 medium brown onion, cut medium dice
3 small-medium zucchini, cut medium dice
1-2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 large tomato, peeled and seeded, cut medium dice
Salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
5-10 medium basil leaves, cut chiffonade*
Water, stock or white wine, as needed
Olive oil

METHOD:

Over medium heat, warm a medium sized chefs pan or sauté pan. When the pan is hot, add enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan.When the oil starts to shimmer and move freely in the pan bottom, it is hot enough.

Add the celery and onions, and sauté until they are softened and starting to turn golden.

Add the zucchini, and toss to coat with oil. Add a touch more oil if necessary to just coat the zucchini.

Continue to cook, coloring the edges of the squash and softening the vegetables, tossing to keep from burning but allowing for caramelization.

Sprinkle the garlic over the contents of the pan, and then toss to mix in. Cook a few more minutes until you smell the garlic.

Add the tomato, and toss to combine. Reduce the heat to low. Sprinkle with a pinch of salt. If mixture seem dry, add a shot of water or stock, or white wine.

Cook, stirring occasionally, to get a jam-like consistency. Add liquid as needed to keep the contents a little loose as the glaze forms.

When the “jam” has formed, season with a little salt and the pepper, and taste for balance. If the dish seems a little flat, try adding a splash of vinegar such as sherry, white wine, or white balsamic. Remember — you can always add more! Start with a little, and then add more if needed. If the dish seems a touch on the bitter side, a pinch of sugar will be what is needed to correct the balance.

When the jam has the balance you like, add in the basil chiffonade and stir to evenly combine throughout. Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. The residual heat will release the flavors of the basil.

* Stack the leaves on top on each other, cut off the stem, and roll the leaves from the stem up. Then, using a sharp knife, thinly slice across the roll to produce fine shreds. The sharp knife allows for finer shreds and keeps the basil from turning black right away.)

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