Embracing the Mush

Remember when we were talking about preserving textural integrity with zucchini and I suggested that sometimes maybe you wouldn’t want to do that? And remember when you worried about the cores that remained after those pretty ribbons fell away from the squash, and I said, hush honey, I’ll tell you how to deal with that later? Now is later! And here is a very simple, delicious and versatile thing you can do with the odd bits leftover.

Recipe #3: Something Like Ratatouille

I’m not going to list any precise ingredient amounts for this, mostly because I don’t know what they are. I literally stared at my leftovers and felt compelled to Make Use of them, so I scrambled to put this together. In my heart I am a big supporter of the Nose to Tail philosophy of eating, and while zucchini is not pig, the idea of using every part of something fills me with just incredible happiness. I’m not an especially thrifty person in many ways, but in the kitchen, I hate to waste a drop. (Last week I made fried rice out of the diced ribs of the kale we were eating. Yum!)

So here is what I did:

Heated a tablespoon of olive oil in a sauce pan. Threw in a cut up onion and three whole cloves of garlic. Sauteed that down a bit.

Diced the remaining zukes and added them to the pot with some fresh tomatoes I had (of varying sizes), the thyme and basil I didn’t use in the previous recipe, some salt and pepper and about a cup of water. Brought that whole thing up to a boil, then simmered for a while, until things looked nice and broken down and, yes, mushy. Structural integrity be damned!

There. That looks about right. Here are some things you can do with this tasty stuff:

* Use it as a sauce as-is over pasta or rice or farro or your grain of choice.  (add some goat cheese, why not?)

* Puree it until smooth and add it to a batch of marinara to boost flavor and nutrients

* Use it as a soup base either chunky like this or, again, pureed. Vegetable or vegetable beef sound good to me

* Layer it into a veggie lasagna

Seriously versatile, see? And I’m not even done with this ingredient yet! Stay tuned for one more offering….

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What’s your favorite way to make use of leftovers? What would you do with this mush?

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