Zucchini abounds this time of year and I couldn’t be happier…especially because I didn’t plant any. That isn’t a problem because (lucky me!), I have friends who are willing to share. The wonderful thing about zucchini is that it is prolific. It begins as a tiny little sprout and grows into a massive, leafy, scratchy plant that produces way more than any sane individual can eat.
Zucchini is best eaten fresh and doesn’t keep well, which means that even frugal gardeners tend to give zucchini away in spades at this time of year. Barbara Kingsolver, in her comical and insightful novel, Animal, Vegetable, Miracle relays that zucchini is a problem that warrants stealthy consideration. “I have not learned to throw perfectly good food in the garbage,” she reports, which means that her problem becomes how to dispose of extra squash that would otherwise have to get chucked in the compost? The only answer is to give it away. In fact, she reports that so many of her neighbours get generous with their courgettes that, “Garrison Keillow says July [August, in Canada] is the only time of year when country people lock our cars in the church parking lot, so people won’t put squash on the front seat.”
I am far from needing to lock my car door. In fact, because I haven’t got any zucchini plants of my own- I’ll gladly leave my car door wide open in the hopes that a zucchini fairies make deposits on the front seat. Last week I received one such donation and I happily proceeded to make one of my favourite mid-summer meal, sautéed Zucchini. This dish is simple (all the best ones are), and not overly cooked which means the lovely summer flavours are so ripe that they threaten to overwhelm the palate with sunny summer flavour.
1 zucchini, chopped into bite sized pieces
1 c. cherry tomatoes
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Coat a large frying pan with oil and heat to medium. Toss in the zucchini and let cook for a minute or two, when the bottoms brown slightly, give the pas a toss and wait another minute or two. Now add the rest of the ingredients and cook another minute or two, until the tomatoes are warm enough they’re nearly bursting at the seam. Serve immediately and enjoy.