Sunday, September 13, 2009

Sautéed Shredded Zucchini with Parmesan and Fresh Basil

My mother, when in a hurry to get dinner on the table, would shred her garden-fresh zucchini and sauté it in a saucepan for a quick vegetable dish. I used to love eating this as a child; butter, salt and pepper its only adornments.

Now, I gussy it up in ways that my mother did not, stirring in freshly grated parmesan reggiano, fresh basil chiffonade (see Cooks Notes below), and using several different types of zucchini.

Simona reminded me last night that I still hadn't posted it.

Thank you for the nudge. Here you go, girlfriend.

Sautéed Shredded Zucchini with Grated Parmesan and Fresh Basil Chiffonade
Original recipe by Skip Hills, adaptations by Christine
4-6 fresh zucchini*, preferrably local and organic, ends trimmed, grated
1 teaspoon each olive oil and unsalted butter for the pan
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan reggiano (use more or less, to your liking)
4 large fresh basil leaves, cut chiffonade**
kosher salt and freshly ground black peppercorns to taste.

Using this side of a box grater, grate the parmesan until you have 1/2 cup (I probably used more, but then I'm of the more is better generation). Set aside.

Using the same side of the box grater, grate all the zucchini. Set aside.
Heat a large skillet over a medium high flame until hot. Add the olive oil and butter and allow them to melt. Adjust the heat to keep the oil from smoking if necessary.
Add the zucchini to the skillet, spreading it out to the edges, and allow it to sauté, undisturbed, for about 5 minutes. Adjust the heat so the bottom layer doesn't burn.
When the bottom layer has softened and become slightly browned in places, begin tossing the zucchini and turning it over in the pan, allowing it to cook thoroughly and become slightly golden throughout. It should be softly cooked, not tender crisp, and retain its fresh color.
Remove the pan from the heat and immediately toss with the grated parmesan and basil chiffonade.
Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper and you're done.

Dig in while it's hot.

Cooks Notes:
* I used both green and straight golden zucchini for this dish. I've also used round, light green zucchs and young pattypan squash.

** To make basil chiffonade, stack 4 or more large fresh basil leaves atop one another, all pointing in the same direction, and beginning at one long edge, roll them up snugly, cigar like. Holding the roll on a cutting board and using a sharp knife, cut the basil roll crosswise into thin strips. With your fingers, pick up each rolled strip and gently loosen it as the now thin basil strips drop from your fingers. Use immediately.

Copyright © 2005-2009, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


  1. Love it, and I'm doing phase one for a little tune-up, so this is perfect!

  2. Thank you so much, Christine! This is a timely gift, seeing as I have a bunch of freshly-picked zucchini on my counter. Now you'll know what we'll have for dinner. This weather requires some cheerful dish.

  3. I seem to have tons of zucchini, so this will be on the menu tomorrow. It should be doable, even though I will be home rather late.

  4. I adore excellent courgettes recipes & yours is great!!

    I never made a recipe as this before so this comes to good use to use up the courgettes from my father's garden!!

  5. Hi Kalyn, I'm so glad I could help!

    Simona, You're right about the weather requiring a cheerful dish, but now we're having a wonderful, warm evening and sunset.

    Hi Mimi, This takes about 25 minutes tops, from grating to plating. Enjoy!

    Hi Sophie, I'm always thinking of ways to use up zucchini. Mine are just coming in. It takes all (foggy) summer for them to truly take off and now I can pick them almost everyday.

  6. Great use for the zucchini that's finding its way from my friends' gardens to my front porch this week. I'm always looking for new recipes when the zucchini glut hits!

  7. Glad you like it, Lydia. I've got another one coming soon.

  8. One can never have enough zucchini recipes, now can they !Love the basil thrown in there!

  9. I love to do zuchinni this way too. Also zuchinni pancakes like latkes.

  10. Thanks Jann and Penny. It's so nice to hear from you both. I've been neglecting my blogger friends lately due to travel, but am getting ready to peek at what you guys have been up to!

  11. This seems to be a great way to enjoy zucchini! It looks amazing:)

  12. Thank you Karine, I'm glad you like it. Thanks for stopping by.

  13. YUM. This sounds like just the kind of thing I could quickly become addicted to. Is it weird if I spend the next 9 months dreaming of a summer squash glut in the garden? ;)

  14. Not weird at all, Susan. I do it too. Fortunately for me, I've still got a few zucchini hanging on in my garden right now. Not for long though.

  15. Okay, Christine. It only took three years and one bite, but I am now officially addicted to this wonderful stuff. I love it! So delicious, so easy to make. This is my kind of recipe. Thanks so much. xo

  16. That's funny, Susan! Well, no matter how long it took, I'm so glad you've become a fan. Thanks so much for the update!


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