Monday, 11 May 2009

A picnic triad 3: Mashed zucchini with onions, garlic and mint

While googling around for picnic recipes, I remembered that I had not yet bought Claudia Roden's paean to picnics, Picnics: And Other Outdoor Feasts, which I'd spied a couple of years back, what else, getting ready for dear H & Hi's annual picnic! (I've ordered the book (since I know I will use it year after year (g)) and will let you know what I think later.)

I came across this picnic recipe of Claudia's on the American Express site Food & Wine. It's a super easy to make appetizer that is exactly what it says it is on the tin. I used less mint than called for below as I prefer peppermint, and added the juice of the lemon (I couldn't resist) rather than presenting it with lemon wedges. You can do both, if it takes your fancy.

Perfect for picnics with veggie eaters, you can whip this up in no time. Which was just as well in my case!

Claudia's picnic mashed zucchini with onions, garlic and mint

Serves 4-6, with other picnic food

450 g zucchini, cut into 3 cm lengths
1.5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 tbsp coarsely chopped mint, or to taste
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Juice of 1 lemon
1 lemon, cut into wedges (optional)

1 Place the cut zucchini into a microwave-safe container in one layer and microwave until soft, around 10 min. Drain and, using a fork, mash the zucchini in a colander to squeeze out as much liquid as possible.

2 Heat 1 tbsp of the olive oil. Add the onions and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 8 min. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it just begins to color, about 30 seconds. Add the zucchini, mint and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until well mixed and heated through, about 5 min.

3 Stir in the remaining half tbsp of olive oil and serve warm or at room temperature with the lemon wedges.


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