Two Sisters Cook
Zucchini are probably appearing on your doorstep this time of year, left by your neighborly gardener. It’s one vegetable that seems to thrive in every vegetable garden. Wikipedia describes zucchini or courgette as a summer squash, of Mesoamerican origin. A zucchini is a thin-skinned cultivar of what in Britain and Ireland is referred to as a marrow.
Linda: Well that gives us some scholarly information about the zucchini squash, but let’s talk recipes, delicious ways to serve up this prolific vegetable.
Lucy: We all have enjoyed zucchini bread that can be freshly baked or frozen to serve year round as a healthy treat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. But lets see if we can dig up some unusual ways to utilize this summer squash.
Linda: My WW coach, Kathy, offered a quick and easy method that is perfect when preparing dinner after a busy day. She calls it Microwave Zucchini In A Flash. Using low or no fat sour cream helps keep the calories or WW points down.
Lucy: I discovered a delightful recipe in a Williams Sonoma Cookbook featuring only chicken recipes. It’s called Chicken Breasts with Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini and Olives. And that describes it exactly. Preparing all the ingredients before you start cooking, so they are available as you use them, makes it an easy recipe to follow.
Linda: I had an opportunity to meet Chuck Williams several years ago. He was in his 90’s but still came to work every day. He told me how he ended up in the specialty kitchen gourmet business. His family had a hardware store in Sonoma, California. He was in Europe during the WWII. After the war was over he stayed on in France and discovered that their cookware varied quite dramatically from what cooks in the United States were using. It was heavier than the aluminum pots so prevalent in the 1940’s in this country. Some were cast iron covered in colorful enamel. Some were copper pots, and things like whisks were used for beating eggs. He purchased supplies bringing them back home and entertained friends at dinner parties. He found himself returning to France to purchase items ordered by his American gourmands. The hardware store began to sell French cookware and eventually Williams Sonoma was born! He passed away just a few years ago at 100 years of age.
Lucy: That’s an interesting story. The recipe is a tasty one that is good as a summer family meal or to offer as a specialty dish for dinner guests.
Linda: I found a different style dip called Zucchini Onion Summer Dip in the Food Network Magazine. The squash is a low calorie vegetable. If you’re watching calories and need a summer dip for a get together, social distancing of course,
this could be served with celery and carrots as well as chips. If you have a food processor, it’s easy to blend this up.
Lucy: Let’s get these recipes ready so our readers can start using the squash they find, left on their front porch.
Kathy’s Microwave Zucchini in a Flash
Slice slice a zucchini squash and an onion and put it in a a microwave safe baking dish Put it in the microwave for about five minutes then take it out and top it with a low-fat or nonfat sour cream. then Sprinkle over shredded cheddar cheese and cover with a lid or foil so the heated squash melts the cheese.
Chicken Breasts with Cherry Tomatoes, Zucchini and Olives
Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 20 minutes Servings: 4
2 Tbs. olive oil
2 zucchinis, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
2 Tbs. chopped shallot
2 cups halved red and yellow cherry tomatoes
1/3 cup pitted, coarsely chopped black Mediterranean olives
1 tsp. chopped fresh rosemary
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 boneless, skinless four 6 ounce chicken breast halves, pounded to an even thickness
1/2 cup dry white wine or vermouth
1 1/2 cups long-grain white rice, cooked according to package directions
In a large nonstick fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the shallot and cook, stirring, until softened, about one minute. Add the tomatoes, olives and rosemary and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes are heated through but not collapsed, about two minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer the mixture to a plate and set aside.
Add the remaining 1 Tbs. oil to the pan. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Cook, turning once, until browned on both sides and firm when pressed in the centers, about eight to ten minutes total. Transfer to a plate and keep warm.
Add the wine to the pan and bring to a boil. Return the vegetables to the pan and cook for one minute to reheat, stirring once or twice. Transfer to a warmed platter and top with the chicken breasts. Serve immediately with hot rice. Serves four.
Adapted for Williams Sonoma “Chicken”.
Food Network Zucchini Onion Dip
Puree 1 finely chopped medium zucchini in a food processor with 1/2 cup mayonnaise, 1/4 cup each chopped dill and scallions, 2 teaspoons white wine vinegar and 1/2 teaspoon each onion powder, granulated garlic and kosher salt. Stir in 1 1/2 cups light sour cream; season with salt.