Meatless Tuesday: Zucchini with Pecorino

Thanks to yesterday's President's Day holiday, meatless Monday has become Meatless Tuesday this week. No problem; you've probably already figured out that Monday isn't the only day to enjoy a good meatless meal!

In New England we usually have lots of extra zucchini in the fall -- squash season.   But, no matter the season, I make zucchini bread year round (see my favorite recipe in a previous post).  This week, however, I found I didn't have all the needed ingredients, so I started looking through cookbooks for a great zucchini recipe instead.   I stopped searching when I found a very, very simple recipe in one of the many cookbooks of our long-time friend Cliff Wright.  This recipe is from Italian Pure & Simple, published in 1998.  Zucchini with Pecorino is easy, fast and delicious.  A winning combination.   Cliff notes "this delicious preparation can be served hot or at room temperature, as an antipasto or a side dish."  Other squash family members can be used instead or in combo with zucchini.   It makes 2-4 servings.

– Sara

Ingredients

1 pound baby zucchini, peeled and sliced
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Ground red chili or cayenne pepper to taste
1 to 2 tablespoons freshly grated Pecorino cheese

1.  Leave the sliced zucchini in a strainer in the sink to leach some of its juice for 30 minutes.   Pat dry with paper towels. (NOTE FROM OLDWAYS:  This is a good time to sit down and relax after a long day, and have a glass of wine!)

2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium-size skillet with the garlic over medium-high heat.  Before the garlic begins to turn light brown, remove and discard. Cook the zucchini until golden brown, tossing or stirring often, 10 to 12 minutes.  Season with salt, black pepper, and a dusting of red pepper.

3. Transfer to a serving platter, drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, and sprinkle on the cheese.  Serve immediately or at room temperature.

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