The following recipe for Italian Sweet & Sour Zucchini is an adaptation of a recipe from Luisa de Ruggieri’s Italian Cooking, A Treasury of Italian Dishes for Every Occasion, published in 1973 (it is out of print, but available from Amazon). It makes a unique and delicious side dish, and is easy to make. It can also be prepared ahead (up to 2 days), refrigerated, and baked just before serving.
The key to making this dish is browning the zucchini slices in a little olive oil and butter over high heat. The butter doesn’t burn because of the oil, but the slices brown nicely and don’t get overcooked. Sautéed red onion is layered between the browned zucchini slices, and a 4-ingredient sweet & sour sauce is poured over all; the mixture is topped with a light sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Although it may sound a little weird, this dish is a favorite, and since it’s quick, it’s been served time and time again to use up that ever-present zucchini.
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds zucchini, sliced in 1/4" slices (the smaller the better – try to use zucchini smaller than 10” long and 1 1/2 -2” in diameter)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 large red onion, quartered and sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Heat the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
- Add the zucchini slices in batches, and brown them on each side.
- As the slices brown, remove from the pan to a plate.
- When all the zucchini slices are browned, add the onions and sauté over medium heat until crisp-tender.
- Place half of the zucchini in an 8 x 8" casserole dish; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Top with the onions; sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Cover with the remaining zucchini slices and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Add the lemon juice, vinegar, sugar, and garlic to the skillet; bring to a boil, stirring constantly.
- Pour over the zucchini mixture.
- Sprinkle the Parmesan cheese over the top.
- Bake 20-25 minutes or until the cheese is brown and the zucchini is heated through.
Amount Per Serving
Calories 157 Calories from Fat 94
Percent Total Calories From: Fat 60% Protein 10% Carb. 30%
Nutrient Amount per Serving
Total Fat 10 g
Saturated Fat 4 g
Cholesterol 13 mg
Sodium 116 mg
Total Carbohydrate 12 g
Dietary Fiber 1 g
Sugars 2 g
Protein 4 g
Vitamin A 14% Vitamin C 31% Calcium 0% Iron 5%