Serving
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Zucchini with Tiny Onions
France   -   Courgettes et Pettits Oignons à la Cardamome

Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
6 side  
***
1 hr  
Prep
A remarkably flavorful sweet-sour treatment for zucchini. One of the best zucchini recipes I know. It can serve as a star side dish, or as a light vegetarian main course. See Note-4 for adjustments I made.





10
1-1/4
1-1/2
1
2
2
------
8
3
2
2/3
1/4
1
1
------
1/2
2
oz
#
oz
med
T
T
----



t
t
T
c
----
T
T
Tiny Onions (1)  
Zucchini (2)
Figs, dried
Lemon
Mint, fresh
Cilantro
-- Seasonings
Cardamom Pods
Bay Leaves
Chili Japones (3)
Salt
Pepper
Olive Oil ExtV
Water
------------
Tomato Paste
Olive Oil ExtV
Prep   -   (40 min)
  1. Bring plenty of water to a boil. Toss in the ONIONS for just 1 minute, stirring them around, then quench in cold water. This will make them easy to peel. Trim off just the tip of the stem end and peel the papery layers back. Cut the minimum from the root end so they don't come apart in cooking.
  2. Cut ZUCCHINIS depending on size. You want sticks between 1-1/2 and 2 inches long and fairly narrow (see Note-2).
  3. Cut FIGS into very small dice. Toss them in a pot of warm water for about 10 minutes, then drain.
  4. Carve the skin and white rind from the LEMON. Break it apart and separate the pulp from the membranes. Discard membranes and seeds and chop the pulp fairly small. Add to the Figs.
  5. Chop MINT and CILANTRO small. Mix.
  6. Crush CARDAMOM pods (green or white) lightly to crack open and strip out the seeds, discarding the husks. Break tops off Chilis and shake out the seeds. Discard seeds and add Chilis to the Cardamom.
Run   -   (20 min)
  1. In a spacious sauté pan, place Onions and all Sauce items. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. stirring now and then.
  2. Stir in Zucchini and Tomato Paste. Bring back to a boil and simmer covered over low flame about 4 minutes, turning frequently. You want the Zucchini to still have some crispness and the seeds to stay attached to the sticks.
  3. Stir in 2 T Olive Oil, make sure there is enough water and bring to a high boil for about 1 minute uncovered to blend the oil with the sauce.
  4. Stir in Figs and Lemon and take off the heat.
  5. When ready to serve, pull out bay leaves and chilis and stir in Mint mix.
  6. If serving as a side, it's best to use shallow bowls so each serving can have some sauce. If serving as a light main dish, accompany with some steamed long grain rice.
NOTES:
  1. Onions   The original recipe calls for "pearl onions", but those are scarce and ridiculously expensive around here, and a real hassle to peel. I pick through the bin of boiling onions at a local produce market for the smallest ones.
  2. Zucchini   Buy the smallest Zucchini you can get. For the photo I actually used Mediterranean squash (lighter color, slightly milder flavor), 5 inches long and 1-7/8 inches diameter. I cut lengthwise into 8 wedges, then cut the wedges in half crosswise.
  3. Chilis:   Japones chilis are small and not very hot and give this dish a just noticeable bite. OK, I actually used a pare of de Arobols for a little more bite. For details see our Chili Page.
  4. Recipe Notes:   The pattern recipe called for twice as much figs and lemon - it was almost inedible. With the amount given here, this recipe is excellent.
  5. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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