Pan-Sautéed Zucchini With Red Onion and Thyme
Zucchini is a year-round vegetable but is particularly flavorful in the summer when it grows like topsy. In a simplified variation of the popular ratatouille made with zucchini, eggplant and tomato, this recipe uses a similar cooking method and the same Provençal flavors.
By cutting the zucchini into wedges instead of slices, it stays firmer when cooked.
Choose medium-to-smaller zucchini and choose ones that are firm, glossy and free of wrinkles or marks.
- 4 medium zucchini, enough to make 4 cups when cut into 1-inch chunks
- 1 medium red onion, minced into 1/4-inch pieces, about 1/2 cup
- 4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely minced
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced, leaves only
- Optional: pinch of red pepper flakes
- After trimming off and discarding the neck and base, cut the zucchini into 1-inch pieces without peeling the skin.
- Add the olive oil to a 3 to 4 quart saucepan or sauté pan that has a cover and place over medium high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the minced onion and lower the heat to medium. Cook the onion for about 3 minutes until the onion softens.
- Add the garlic and cook for about a minute or until it becomes slightly soft and fragrant.
- Add the zucchini pieces, thyme, a pinch of salt, and several grinds of black pepper, and if you want a little extra kick, a pinch of red pepper flakes, and lower the heat to medium low. Cover the pan and cook until the zucchini begins to become tender but not too soft, about 5 minutes. If there is any excess liquid in the pan remove the cover and raise the heat to medium high for about 30 seconds until the liquid is cooked off.
- Serve immediately or at room temperature.