The topic was zucchini: how to cook it, of course. We were holding a giant one, talking about what to do with it when I realized I didn’t really have a single zucchini recipe on the site. I smacked my palm into my forehead and wondered what had taken me so long. Zucchini is delicious! Versatile! Affordable, even! Its flowers a delight. Why have I been holding back?
To compensate for the lack of recipes in this blog, I present you with back-to-back-to-back recipes that celebrate zucchini’s versatility.
Though tasty, zucchini is a tricky vegetable. It can be sautéed, grilled, and roasted, but just enough for it not to turn into mush. I like cooking it until just al dente: crispy around the edges, tender with just enough bite. Each cooking technique gives zucchini a unique taste. Grilling adds smoke, and a nutty depth of flavor. Roasting caramelizes the vegetables sugars and turns them sweet and delicate. Sautéing keeps the flavor clean and vegetal. I like to think that zucchini’s best companions are flaky sea salt and olive oil. Nonetheless, it can hold up to the bold flavors of an aromatic spicy sauce such as chimichurri, romesco, and harissa. You could also season it with spices and make a dish that transports you to India, or China, or Korea. This vegetable can transform, adapt, and absorb so many different flavors flawlessly. Zucchini also pairs beautifully with a slew of vegetables for truly unique dishes.
Last week I brought you an amazing Grilled Corn and Zucchini Salad. The corn’s sweetness was a perfect foil to smoky grilled zucchini. This week, I am pairing baby zucchini (blossoms still attached) with baby artichokes. This is a humble dish. The vegetables are split in half, dressed in lemon, olive oil, and salt and roasted until slightly charred, tender, and delicious. The zucchini flowers absorb all the fat and salt, becoming the perfect flavor vehicle. When ready to serve, the vegetables are drizzled with tahini; a creamy, decadent addition that will transform zucchini and artichokes into a decadent, rich dish. The lemon and tahini complement each other beautifully, making each bite tangy and earthy.
Lemony Roasted Baby Zucchini & Artichokes
Cook time 35 minutes
- 6-8 baby artichokes
- 8 baby zucchini
- juice of half a lemon
- pinch of salt, plus more for serving
- 1-2 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tbsp. tahini to serve
When buying artichokes, stick to tender, moist looking ones. I like baby artichokes, because they are more easy to cook than large ones. Picking ones that look fresh (as opposed to dried out) will ensure easy prep and a delicious dish.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Rinse vegetables. To prep artichokes, trim top ½ inch. Peel off any outer edges. Cut into quarters. Repeat until all baby artichokes are clean. Place in a bowl. Split zucchini into vertical halves. Add into bowl with artichokes. Add olive oil lemon juice and a generous pinch of salt. Toss until well incorporated. Transfer to a baking sheet or large cast iron pan. Roast for 25 minutes. Vegetables are ready when tender and golden around the edges. Remove from over and place onto serving plate. Drizzle tahini and a pinch of flaky sea salt. Serve immediately!