Jennie Cook's Zucchini Butter

By • July 23, 2013 • 38 Comments


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Author Notes: Whenever you come home a bundle of squash, this is the best, purest way you can distill it. (And then in about a month, when we're overrun, it will still be a happy way to dispense with lots of them at once.) It turns out zucchini wants to be butter. Grated fine, it cooks down quickly, pooling into a soft, freckly green pile. Spread it on toast in place of actual butter. Cake a thick layer in a sandwich with salted tomatoes or soft cheese. Sauce a grilled pizza. Consider it a side dish. Or just eat a big heap of it, right out of the pan, like we did. Recipe from Jennie Cook via The Kitchn.Genius Recipes

Makes about 2 cups

  • 2 pounds zucchini or assorted summer squash (feel free to use less or add extra -- cooking times will vary)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or butter
  • 2 minced shallots, garlic, or combination of both
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Coarsely grate the zucchini. Let it drain in a colander for 3 to 4 minutes or until you are ready to begin cooking. To hasten cooking time, squeeze the water out of the zucchini by wringing it in a clean cloth towel.
  2. In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil/butter. Sauté the shallots or garlic briefly. Add the zucchini and toss. Cook and stir over medium to medium-high heat until the zucchini reaches a spreadable consistency, about 15 minutes. If you scorch the bottom, turn the flame down! (And scrape those delicious bits into the butter for added flavor -- you can splash in a little water to help deglaze the pan.) The zucchini will hold its bright green color and slowly caramelize into a nice vegetable jam.
  3. Enjoy on toast, or as a side dish all summer long!

Comments (38) Questions (0)

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28 days ago dbrowning

Put big scoop of leftover zucchini butter on plate. Heat up. Top with runny poached egg for an awesome breakfast

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about 1 month ago marija

this is very nice and so easy to make. I recently made it as one of the re diner hors d'oeurves and although they were mostly "fussy" eaters it didn't disappoint. on its own on a piece of sourdough or with mozzarella and sundered tomatoes, num!

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7 months ago Turbeville Green

What's the best way and how long can I store it?

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about 1 month ago tamater sammich

I made lots of this recipe last summer, when we had zucchini coming out our ears. We had the last of it from the freezer several weeks ago. What I did was let it cool off, then tamp it down in glass Rubbermaid containers, and just before freezing, pouring a thin layer of olive oil on top, as a barrier to air, to eliminate freezer burn.

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8 months ago betty888

This is so simple and truly delicious. I put the butter on top of a simple baked chicken breast (cooked with a little garlic, lemon, olive oil), and it was fantastic. I'll be eating the rest this morning on wheat toast. I agree with other posters that this would be great on pasta, or even as an omelet filling. This could easily become addictive.

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7 months ago Turbeville Green

As a spread on baked chicken is my plan, I'm excited to try this.

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8 months ago SusanR

This is fantastic! I have been making it all summer for my husband who loves zucchini. Tonight I am serving it as an appetizer to friends and family who are joining us for dinner. It is certainly one of the most genius recipes I have ever found. I do not add nearly as much oil as called for. My husband loves it and eats it pretty much by the bowl full!

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7 months ago Turbeville Green

I'm dying to try this and planned to cut back on oil. About how much oil did you use?

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8 months ago Grace Mack

Made it for a party. Nobody liked it. Very disappointed.

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8 months ago sweet fang

I made a second batch with not only the two salts; The espresso salt and the Alderwood salt but I added Tarragon to it and it is sweet and just a dash smoky.
Pretty fantastic.

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8 months ago EJMdesign

Made this tonight with a fabulous fresh zucchini from the local farmer's market, and it was delicious. Can't wait to make some great crusty toast tomorrow morning to have with it!

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8 months ago sweet fang

I love this ! I added two different salts to it to punch it out a little. An espresso salt and an Alderwood smoked salt. It was crazy good.
Salts came from the filling station in NYC @ Chelsea Market. :)

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8 months ago seasonista

In the cookbook "In Season", Sarah Raven does a version of zucchini jam that is similar to this, with ginger & lemon, plus gelatin. She says it's an "edwardian recipe".

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8 months ago Judy E

Absolutely wonderful taste! This is a definite family favorite now. Easy and very flavorful.

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8 months ago Janeths

Very tasty!

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8 months ago Antonia AT

Totally delicious: This is a riff on a Julia Child recipe that's been a summer favorite forever.

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8 months ago Diana Pappas

Just picked a huge zucchini that was hiding in my garden and immediately made this. What a fabulous use of zucchini that has grown beyond the ideal size!

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9 months ago Jacqueline

Yes, please. And thank you!

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9 months ago learnoff

This recipe is unbelievably easy and amazingly delicious! Someone asked if it would freeze well - in my house it would never make it to the freezer! Will be making many batches of this!

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9 months ago Paula d.

I made this yesterday. Awesome! Added some thyme and, instead of water, used dry white wine to deglaze the pan. Plan on making MUCH more. 1 recipe just won't last very long!!!

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9 months ago JulieBee

I made this tonight and served it with a grilled garlic bread....in a word, delectable. Everyone raved and wondered what was in it, how was it made...zucchini? No kidding.
Be sure to season with kosher salt and a little fresh ground pepper. A+

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9 months ago JulieBee

Oh and forgot to say, I had no shallots, so just used organic yellow onions, chopped teeny tiny and it worked beautifully.

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9 months ago audrey

Going to make this RIGHT NOW.

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9 months ago audrey

Fantastic! I tossed it with some pasta, delicious. I can see adding different flavors to go different ways: capers and basil and white wine, or tarragon, or sun-dried tomatoes. I put some in the freezer to see how it holds up.

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9 months ago bb

what a super little recipe ! !