Makes about 3 cups
Evan Kleiman, chef-owner of Angeli Caffe and host of KCRW's Good Food show, shared Edda Servi's traditional Italian Jewish recipe for cooking summer squash until it falls apart. It's a great bruschetta topper, but Evan also serves it as a side dish, stirs it into risotto and pasta, and sometimes thins leftovers with stock to make a soup. Use medium-sized white or Lebanese zucchini for their creamy flavor and texture and for uniform color throughout the dish. Lemon thyme adds sparkle, but you can use regular thyme, Italian parsley, or basil.
Put the zucchini, garlic, 1/4 cup oil, water, thyme, and a little salt in a deep pot, cover, and cook over medium heat for 10 minutes. Uncover, reduce the heat to low, and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini break down, the liquid is absorbed, and the mixture looks glossy, 30 to 40 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt, pepper, and oil. Serve warm or at room temperature with bruschette. Or, refrigerate for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before serving.
Chef's Tip: Amy Sweeney, owner of Ammo Café in Hollywood, takes the opposite approach with summer squash, using a mandoline to shave raw yellow and green zucchini into long ribbons and dressing them with olive oil, mint, lemon, sea salt, and a scattering of green Lucques olives.
Bruschetta (broos-KEH-ta) is a smoky slice of grilled bread perfumed with garlic and slicked with olive oil. Delicious on its own, it adds dimension to a variety of toppings (see the next several recipes). To make bruschette (plural), lightly grill or broil country bread slices on both sides, then rub one side with the cut side of a garlic clove and brush it with olive oil. When a simpler or less rustic base is desired, make crostini, oven-toasted bread slices. Several artisanal bakers sell bread at the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, including Röckenwagner Bakery, The Bread Man, Bezian's, and La Brea Bakery, which donates all of its proceeds to the 24th Street School Gardens Project and the Santa Monica Farmers' Market School Garden Project.
This page created October 2007
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