Monday, August 21, 2006

Zucchini, Garlic & Roasted Bell Peppers

This very simple summer side cooks up fast and easy. Add herbs and spices to compliment a main dish, or keep it simple like I did for my Pt. Reyes Stuffed Pork Chops.

2 medium zucchini
2 large cloves garlic
3 bell peppers, red and yellow, charred and peeled
Kosher salt and black pepper to taste
Pinch dried marjoram (optional)
Olive oil for the pan

Char the peppers over a gas flame until blackened and blistered. Place in a sealed paper bag to sweat for 15 minutes. Remove from the bag and, with your fingers, push the skin off the peppers. You can run your fingers under cold water to remove the char, but don't do it to the peppers or you'll rinse their great flavor down the drain. Cut the stem end out, remove the seeds and membranes and slice lengthwise into 1/2-inch pieces, then crosswise into 1/2-inch squares.

Cut the zucchini lengthwise into quarters then slice crosswise into 1-inch pieces.
Peel the garlic, smash with the side of a chef's knife then mince finely.
In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium low heat. When hot, add the garlic and cook, stirring, until it has cooked to a golden brown.
Add the zucchini and stir to blend with the garlic. Cook slowly just until the zucchini is tender crisp.
Add the bell pepper and stir until the peppers are heated through and the zucchini is fully cooked.
Season to taste with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.
If serving with the pork chops, add 1/4 teaspoon marjoram, crumbled, to the veggies just before serving.