In a few months, when the Zucchini Fairy begins to drop huge amounts of squash in your garden or on your doorstep, here’s your go to recipe. This jammy, spreadable zucchini mixture isn’t really a butter. It’s more of a marmalade or paste. But whatever you call it, the word delicious will be included.
As it turns out, when you slowly cook grated zucchini with butter or olive oil it becomes creamy, luscious and spreadable. A bit of seasoning adds even more gusto. It’s all so simple. Start by sautéing shallots and garlic with salt/pepper, and grated zucchini. Cook for 20 minutes, or till the squash is caramelized and spreadable. Just scrape and incorporate any brown bits that occur.
The only unique treatment is wringing the uncooked zucchini in cheese cloth to remove as much water as possible. I got nearly a cup from 5 zucchini! Salting the zucchini a bit helps draw out the liquid. The squash cooks quicker without the excess water and has a better consistency.
How Do I Love Thee. . . Let Me Count the Ways
There’s so many ways to serve Zucchini Butter. This past weekend I slathered it onto a loaf of sliced Italian bread and warmed it in the oven. But there are far more ways to use the cooked down squash:
- Atop toast, sprinkled with Parmesan
- Mixed with ricotta cheese and served over pasta
- On a fresh tomato sandwich in place of the mayo
- On a sandwich with a soft cheese
- As a layer in vegetable lasagna
- With crackers or chips
- Alongside scrambled eggs or a filling for omelets
Bonus: Zucchini Butter freezes well, making it possible to enjoy the tasty vegetable treat anytime.
- 2 lbs. zucchini or assorted summer squash (use less or add extra)
- 1/4 cup olive oil or butter
- 2 minced shallots, garlic, or combination of both
- Salt and pepper
- 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.
- In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil or butter. Sauté the shallots and/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 it seems to be scorching, turn the flame down. The zucchini will hold its bright green color and slowly caramelize into a nice vegetable jam.
- For a richer version, add a bit of heavy cream to the mixture at the very end. Recipe makes 2 cups.