By grating zucchini and then cooking it slowly in a bit of butter or olive oil, you turn this humble vegetable into a luscious, remarkably flavorful spread known as zucchini butter. You can add a clove or two of garlic or shallot or a few green onions, well minced. You may like to add some fresh herbs at the end of cooking to mix things up a bit - basil, mint, or thyme are all good choices. Whatever extra kicks you use, serve it with crackers or toasts. It's also lovely alongside scrambled eggs or as a filling for omelets.
Avid gardeners won't need this spelled this out, but this is an excellent way to make use of the fruits of any prolific zucchini plants in your patch!
- Trim the zucchinis and then shred them on a large-hole grater. (I've been known to wait until the garlic or shallot are in the pan and just grate the zucchini right into the pan - they're so soft they tend to grate down pretty quickly.)
- Peel and mince the garlic or shallot.
- Melt the butter or heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic or shallot and cook, stirring, until they are fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the zucchini and stir to combine everything. Sprinkle with the salt and stir again.
- Adjust the heat to maintain a steady gentle sizzle. You want to cook this zucchini slowly until it falls apart onto itself and becomes supremely tender, about 30 minutes. You're not looking to brown it or sear it or make it crisp-tender. Cook, stirring now and again, being sure to scrape up any bits of zucchini that start to stick to the pan. When the zucchini starts to stick a bit, add 1/4 cup water. I find that is usually enough, but if it starts to stick again before the cooking time is up, add another 1/4 cup water to help scrape up any bits clinging to the pan and help keep the zucchini from sticking more.
- After about half an hour the zucchini should be amazingly tender and melting. The flavor, too, will likely surprise people. Be prepared for disbelieving diners.