Zucchini with Parmesan and Croutons
I love zucchini. It’s so easy to cook, which is nice in the summer when I want to minimize my time in the kitchen. The one issue to keep in mind though is that zucchini tends to become watery as it softens, so to counteract this I added bread croutons to soak up all the juicy flavors. I learned that trick from Emily, Lulu’s friend.
I used leftover masala tandoori naans for the croutons and flavored the dish with Herbes de Provence, lemon zest and Parmesan for added natural saltiness. This vegetable side dish pairs wonderfully with roasted duck (my favorite meat) or chicken.
Yields: 6 servings6 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic
2 shallots, sliced
4 zucchini, trimmed and sliced
3 tablespoons green bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon Anaheim chiles, stemmed, seeded and chopped
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
2-½ cups 1-day-old bread (I used masala tandoori naans)
1-½ teaspoons Herbes de Provence (see tips)
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons green olives, pitted and chopped
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt (or regular salt)
½ cup Parmesan cheese, shaved
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley leaves, chopped
Preheat oven to 325°F.
Cut the bread or naans into small pieces.
Finely mince a clove of garlic. Mix it with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Generously spread the garlic oil on the bread pieces. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. Place on a greased baking sheet.
Bake for about 6-8 minutes. Set aside.
Cut the remaining cloves of garlic into quarters.
Zest the lemon and juice it. Set them aside separately.
Heat the remaining oil in a large pan. Add the garlic and cook until golden. Transfer to a plate. Add the shallots and cook over low heat for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent the shallots from burning, until the color is evenly golden brown. Transfer to a plate, leaving as much oil as possible in the pan.
Add more oil if necessary. Add the zucchini slices. Pan-fry the zucchini until golden. Toss well and cook for about 5 minutes. Once the slices are nicely golden, add the green chiles and bell pepper. Lower the heat, then add turmeric powder, Herbes de Provence, salt and lemon zest. Cover and cook until softened, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes.
Once the zucchini is soft, add the bread croutons, golden garlic, fried shallots and olives. Drizzle with honey and lemon juice. Toss well. Check seasoning. Add more salt (if necessary) and pepper. Turn off the heat, top with Parmesan cheese and parsley. Let it sit for about 5 minutes.
Serve warm or at room temperature.
For a vegan version, just omit the Parmesan cheese.
I used masala tandoori naans. You can find them at Trader Joe's.
Herbes de Provence is a combination of herbs originating from the Mediterranean region. I used store-bought blend. You can also make your own; check the ingredients here.
Published By: on June 14, 2011.