Caramelized Zucchini


8-10 small zucchinis sliced into 1/4 inch inch coins -OR- 6 medium zucchinis halved lengthwise and sliced into ¼ inch half-moons
Salt and pepper
1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


In a non-stick or well-seasoned pan, place the zukes with enough water to just cover. Add a pinch of salt and the 1/2 tablespoon of olive oil.Cover the pan and bring to a boil. This should be enough to break down the cell walls inside the slices and start to soften the squash. The squash should be just tender.
Drain the squash and place in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper and toss with the remaining olive oil.

Return the pan to the heat over a medium flame, and when the pan is hot, toss in the zukes. Make sure all the squash lie flat in the pan. Cook until the squash is golden. Turn the squash, cooking until the other side is done as well.

Serve immediately.

This dish does not hold well once finished. The squash gives up all of its water and each piece sags and withers, and the zukes taste bitter. This method of cooking is good for showing the natural sweetness that is in vegetables, while at the same time contrasting it with the slight bitterness inherent in many vegetables. The effect is similar to a sweet and sour, but far subtler. These dishes can be seasoned with a little orange juice, powdered dried citrus rinds, or a touch of truffle oil, to great effect.

SOURCE: Recipe courtesy of Chef Andrew Cohen, Chef in Residence, Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets

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