This is such a simple dish, it hardly qualifies as a recipe. But despite dozens of zucchini variations I've tried over the years, this is the one I keep coming back to. My family can't get enough of it. I myself have to fight the urge to gobble it all up right out of the pan. I like it even better with some young yellow crookneck mixed in. (Get them when they are still light yellow. They get tough as they darken.) This preparation requires patience as it takes time for the squash to get meltingly tender, but the wait is so worth it! By the way, if you don't like garlic, don't even bother making this. —cookbookchick
as much as you like
shiny fresh zucchini, on the small side
fresh young yellow crookneck (optionl)
garlic, as much as you like (I like a lot)
kosher or sea salt, to taste
In This Recipe
Wash and trim the zucchini. Cut each one lengthwise in half and then cut each half lengthwise again so you have four pieces. If the squash is on the large size, you might have to cut each half into thirds to make six pieces.
Cut the pieces crosswise into lengths of about 1 1/2 to 2 inches to make little zucchini "batons." If you are using yellow crookneck, cut them into similar shapes and sizes so they all cook evenly.
Peel the garlic and give it a rough chop into small pieces.
Melt a bunch of butter in a largish skillet. When the foam subsides, add the garlic. Cook for about 30 seconds, then add the squash. You will have a big heap in the pan, but it will cook down.
Stir the squash, lifting and turning so all the pieces get a butter bath. With the heat on medium-low, continue to cook the squash, stirring occasionally, until it is very soft, almost falling apart, and meltingly tender. This will take time, at least 30 to 45 minutes. Resist the urge to stop cooking when you think it is done enough -- it probably isn't. And do not add any water! Your patience will be rewarded, I promise.
As for the salt, I wait to add it until the squash is mostly cooked or done.
I am retired from CBS News, having worked in both NYC and Washington DC, my native town. I'm married, mother of three, grandmother of two. I've been a passionate cook since I was a child, and have collected recipes since then. I am shamelessly addicted to cookbooks -- hence my moniker -- but I figure it's not only less harmful than other addictions, but also produces a better outcome for those around me. My family call me "the food lady," so I guess they agree!