Friday, February 3, 2023

Seasonal Finds: Zucchini

Marrying seasonally fresh zucchini and tomato into one perfect summer recipe is possibly the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Zucchini is a well-known summer squash, cousins with other squashes and the mighty pumpkin. Zucchini is usually served cooked and can be prepared using different techniques including steaming, boiling, grilling, stuffing, baking, barbecuing, frying or incorporating in other recipes. In my recipe below, we char the veggie in a blazing hot oven and pair with a cooling sauce. It’s a great snack for a BBQ or pool party.

Fun fact: One zucchini has just 25 calories and contains more potassium than a banana! According to World’s Healthiest Foods, nutrients and vitamins found in zucchini can help prevent cancer and heart disease. So, it is both delicious and good for you!

When you are shopping for your zucchini at the local farmers market or store, look for small to medium sizes. They are more flavorful and easier to handle while slicing.

Roasting zucchini is a no brainer, so the charred outside can lock in those classic zucchini flavors. I added some cayenne spice to really boost the roasted flavor, and then I roasted the zucchini in a steaming oven set at 500°F. Of course every great, hot item should be served with an equally great dipping sauce, and in this case, tomato aioli is the answer. Aioli is a Provence sauce most commonly made of garlic, olive oil and seasonings. There are many variations, and for this recipe I used mayonnaise instead of oil. Aioli is usually served at room temperature.

This recipe is SIMPLE. I hope you love it!

Spicy Zucchini with Tomato Aioli

Ingredients
2 large zucchinis, cut into ½ inch spears
1½ garlic cloves, plus ½ a clove for aioli, minced
¼ cup olive oil
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Salt to taste
½ a tomato, sliced with seeds removed
½ cup mayo (you can substitute Greek yogurt if preferred)
Pepper to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 500°F. Grease a baking sheet and set aside.

Toss zucchini, garlic cloves, olive oil, cayenne and salt together until spears are coated evenly. Spread zucchini out on baking sheet with the cut side facing up. Roast for 10 minutes.

In a blender, add tomato, mayo, remaining garlic clove, salt and pepper. Blend for about 15 seconds. Scrape sides of the blender bowl if necessary, and blend again until ingredients are fully combined, another 15 seconds. Scoop aioli into a serving dish.

Once zucchini is finished, remove from oven and serve immediately with a side of aioli.

Suggestion: I like to drizzle the aioli on top of the zucchini with a frosting bag.

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About Amanda Jane

Amanda Jane is the creator of the food blog Seasonally Jane, a creative space where she shares her love of seasonally inspired cooking through original recipes, photography and writing.  Seasonally Jane celebrates the use of peak-season fruits and vegetables with an emphasis on organic whole foods and unique ingredients. Amanda launched her blog in September 2014 and is based in Lighthouse Point.

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