Serves 6 as a side dish
Zucchini is such an abundant and tasty vegetable, yet too often is bland and unpleasing when served. This preparation is simple and full of flavor. The anchovies provide much of it, and if you crave the anchovy taste you can increase the amount used. On the other hand, if you are apprehensive about anchovies, cut the amount in half. For extra spice, add crushed red pepper as well. Serve this hot, as an appetizer or a side dish, or prepare it in advance and serve at room temperature. It’s delicious either way (and thus an excellent buffet item). The savory zucchini makes a great pasta sauce, too—simply toss with hot drained ziti (or other short hollow pasta) and top with grated cheese.
- 2½ pounds small zucchini
- 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 plump garlic cloves, crushed and peeled
- 6 anchovy fillets, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ cup drained small capers
You will need a heavy-bottomed skillet or sauté pan, 12-inch diameter or larger. Trim the ends of the zucchini, and slice them into ¼-inch- thick sticks, 2 to 3 inches long. Pour the olive oil into the big skillet, and set it over medium heat. Toss in the garlic cloves, cook for a minute or so, until sizzling, then drop the chopped anchovy into the pan. Cook, stirring, another minute or two, until the anchovy melts in the oil. Scatter the zucchini sticks in the skillet, and toss and stir to coat them in oil. Season with salt, and cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini are cooked through, limp, and lightly caramelized. Finally, toss in the capers and cook another minute or two to blend the flavors. Serve hot or at room temperature.