In Italy, veggies are prepared in many of different ways, depending from the region and season. Vegetables, roots (potatoes, carrots, beets, etc.) and legumes are, in fact, an incredible resource in the kitchen and, nutritionally speaking, fresh or cooked they should be a big part of any healthy diet. However, it is their variety that makes them a precious ally in the kitchen.
Today I will give you a very simple recipe for zucchine (or zucchin-i, as spelled in English, ), a vegetable that is often considered "boring", but which I consider instead very versatile and tasty when prepared the right way. Additionally, zucchini are low in calories and contain good amounts of folic acid (vitamin B9), potassium and vitamin A. They also contain 19% of the recommended daily amount of manganese, all very good reasons to eat more zucchini.
Ingredients and Instructions for Zucchini sauté with olive oil, garlic and parsley
To make 4 servings use:
- 8 medium size Italian zucchini
- 3 table spoons of olive oil
- 1 cup of chopped Italian parsley
- 2 cloves of garlic
- salt and pepper
1. Wash and clean the zucchini removing the end tips, cut them in quarters (lengthwise) and then dice them, about 1 inch thick.
2. Sauté the zucchini, placing them in a non-stick pan with the olive oil, the chopped parsley and the garlic previously peeled and roughly minced. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, and cook over medium-high fire for about 5 minutes, tossing the zucchini a few times (or if you are afraid of where they might land, just mix them), so that the oil can evenly coat them, and until they start get slightly golden on the sides. Lower the fire and finish cooking them with a lid on, until they are tender. This should take just an extra few minutes.
3. Taste the zucchini (this is my favorite part), adjust salt and pepper and serve warm as a side dish for your favorite dinner. They will be also delicious cold, as part of an antipasto.
- Cooked this way, zucchini may also be used with pasta (penne or bow ties), always cooked al dente. Try it topping the pasta with Parmesan cheese and extra drizzle of olive oil.
- For the full benefits of their nutritional content, use them raw, finely sliced and added to a salad, or cut in sticks and served with some dipping sauce.
Now, is that a versatile vegetable or not?