Zucchini with Basil, Mint, and Honey

By • August 12, 2011 • 21 Comments



Author Notes: I've never owned a zucchini plant so I've never had an adversarial relationship with the vegetable. I'd happily eat zucchini all summer long. And I like a vegetable that holds both threat and promise. If you don't respect the zucchini, it will ruin your dinner, it will. It'll weep liquid and turn soggy. It'll be bitter if you don't watch out. But if you pamper this little garden diva, zucchini will return the favor and make a dish to remember. - AmandaAmanda Hesser

Serves 4

  • 4 medium zucchini, ends trimmed
  • Salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey, honey (a variety you like but nothing too strong)
  • 10 small basil leaves
  • 10 small mint leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Cut the zucchini lengthwise into quarters, and then crosswise into ½-inch cubes. Put them in a bowl, season generously with salt and let sit for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry.
  2. Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan (large enough to fit the zucchini in a single layer) over medium high heat. When the oil begins to shimmer, add the zucchini and let it brown. The trick to this recipe is controlling the heat so the zucchini neither steams nor burns – you want it to brown the edges while leaving the centers crisp-tender. Stir only when needed.
  3. As soon as the zucchini is done, spoon it into a serving dish, leaving the oil in the pan behind. Sprinkle with a little lemon juice, and the honey. Sprinkle the basil and mint leaves and grind some pepper over the zucchini.
  4. Variation: you can make a basil and mint pesto instead of using whole leaves. Combine 1/4 cup packed basil leaves and 1/4 cup packed mint leaves with a pinch of salt in a small food processor. Turn on the machine and drizzle 3 tablespoons oil through feed tube, until a loose sauce forms. You may need to scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice. Once the zucchini is cooked, use this pesto to dress it -- you may not need all the pesto.
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Comments (21) Questions (2)

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12 months ago Sadassa_Ulna

Mmmmm a friend made this last night and it was so tasty!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

12 months ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Glad you liked it -- you reminded me to make it this summer. Thanks.

Blue_lagoon_iceland

about 2 years ago aligthang

We made the pesto version of this recipe, though next time I'll go whole leaf. Delicious flavors - perfect accompaniment for any grilled items this summer! http://epifurious.tumblr...

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

about 2 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Cool. And thanks for the link -- fun to see!

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almost 3 years ago MaryDD

I made this for dinner last night, it turned out very nicely, a little soggy, but the flavors were still very nice! Being a bit of a rookie when it comes to salting things to draw out the liquid, I dumped the bowl over the strainer in the middle of the kitchen rather than over the sink, not realising that there would be about 3 inches of water in the bottom! Whoops!

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almost 3 years ago ashleyamore

I used a griddle tonight to prepare these, which made quick work of cooking these little guys. They were delicious as is!

And yet, I had to up the ante. With some fresh ricotta on hand, a garden full of zucchini blossoms, and saffron from Jerusalem, I had to toss it all together in a pasta.

I'm feeling very fat and happy! Thanks for this :)

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

That sounds fantastic. I made pasta with roasted cherry tomatoes, corn, and fresh ricotta tonight, as well.

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almost 3 years ago ereis

yum, I'm always looking for fresh ways to do zucchini. perfect.

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almost 3 years ago learnoff

Sounds delish! What about oven roasting the zucchini instead of pan frying after the salting and rinsing? This is the usualy method of cooking I use on a lightly greased cookie sheet in a 375 - 400 oven.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

I like oven roasting, too, but you'll end up with a different result -- if you roast it the zucchini will become soft through the center by the time it browns. Not a bad effect at all -- just different from the caramelized edges and fresher core flavor you get when sauteing

Ry_400

almost 3 years ago melissav

We had this for dinner last night and it was very tasty. We went the pesto route and I tossed in some tarragon too because I accidentially snipped a few pieces when cutting the basil and mint. We served it with Liz's corn pudding and Mrs. Wheelbarrow's pork with spicy plum sauce and it was the perfect summer dinner. Thanks for another great recipe.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Nice menu!

Summer_2010_1048

almost 3 years ago Midge

Made this last night with pattypan squash. Delicious! Thanks Amanda.

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Great -- did you do leaves or pesto? Just curious.

Summer_2010_1048

almost 3 years ago Midge

Just the leaves and it was great. Will try the pesto next time.

Lynn0001_3_2

almost 3 years ago LynnATL

Making this tonight for Feast Noir (ATL). Sounds so delicious and summery. Perfect for an evening al fresco dinner party!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

And no need to stress about keeping it warm -- works at outdoors temp, too.

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almost 3 years ago freshjam

awesome stuff right here and now- just finished my first batch using all ingredients from garden. Served w/ grilled leg of lamb and summer peach cake (both recipes on this site) and local fresh corn on the cob. Outside on the patio- full moon summer nite- just can't get it any better!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Can we come over for dinner?

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almost 3 years ago drbabs

Barbara is a trusted source on General Cooking.

I love this so much! I have tons of zucchini and am going to make it tonight! Thanks!

Tad_and_amanda_in_the_kitchen

almost 3 years ago Amanda Hesser

Amanda is a co-founder of Food52.

Hope you enjoy it!