We’re continuing with the side dishes again this week with another easy, flavorful recipe! With the abundance of summer zucchini right around the corner, I’m already thinking of ways to use up what’s coming.
Every year, I over plant zucchini in the garden, but I haven’t regretted it yet! We make a lot of zucchini noodles year round, but especially during the summer months (my favorite recipe is these Kung Pao Chicken Zucchini Noodles). I also love to grill and serve it alongside all sorts of things like this Balsamic Grilled Chicken Topped with Caprese Salad. And of course there’s one of our all time favorites, Zucchini Fritters with Avocado Crema.
But it’s only been recently I’ve gotten into sautéing zucchini, which has been a fun new way to put veggies on the table. Even though zucchini is primarily a summer veggie, it’s reasonably priced, and even quite cheap some weeks throughout the winter. It makes a great all around veggie, and since it’s very mild, it’s easy to dress it up with bold flavors.
For this dish, I kept it simple with dried thyme, but feel free to use fresh herbs if you have them around. Chopped fresh basil is so good subbed in for the thyme, and I pretty much always default to basil during the summer. It’s my favorite herb, so I tend to go overboard when it’s abundant.
For the zucchini, chop it however is easiest for you, keeping it to bite sized pieces. I like to cut mine into quarters lengthwise, and then slice it into thin triangular pieces.
From there, it gets a brief sauté, and then you finish it with a bit of lemon juice which adds a bright fresh flavor. Pine nuts are a favorite of mine with zucchini, but you can also use toasted sliced/or slivered almonds, and cashews would be good as well.
- 4 medium zucchini, 1 1/2 pounds
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 Teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 Teaspoon lemon zest, see notes
- 1/2 Teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- 1/4 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 Tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 Tablespoons toasted pine nuts
- Remove both ends from the zucchini, and cut them into quarters lengthwise. Lay the quarters flat side down on a cutting board, and slice crosswise into thin triangular pieces.
- Set a 8-9″ cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot but not smoking, add the olive oil, garlic, and lemon zest. Sauté stirring until it’s fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Then add the sliced zucchini, and continue to sauté stirring as it browns. Cook until crisp tender, 6-8 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and season to taste with sea salt, pepper, and stir in the fresh lemon juice.
- Sprinkle the pine nuts over the top, and serve immediately.
I like to use a microplane grater for lemon zest because it melts into the dish rather than bigger graters that leave chewy pieces of zest in the final dish.