This time of year, home gardeners and CSA members alike are positively swimming in zucchini. Here’s a recipe that has the capacity to use up several pounds in a single swoop, freezes well and tastes great to boot. Serve it up at your next cocktail party or backyard bbq.
3 pounds zucchini, cut into a 1/2 inch cubes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
5 garlic cloves, gently smashed
5-6 springs of thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4-5 turns of a pepper grinder
Place a large, heavy skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil and butter and allow them to melt together. Roughly chop the smashed garlic and add it to the pan. Add the zucchini cubes. Cook for 15-20 minutes, until the zucchini has begun to soften. Strip the thyme leaves off their stems and add them to the pot.
Reduce the heat and continue to cook, stirring often. The goal is to melt the zucchini into a spreadable paste. The goal is to cook the liquid out of the zucchini and intensify the flavors without reducing it to total mush. If at any point, the zucchini starts to brown, add a splash of water (or white wine if you happen to have an open bottle) and reduce the heat a bit more.
Total cooking time should be right around an hour. Three pounds of zucchini typically yields around two cups of spread.
Once cooked, the spread will last up to one week in the fridge. Serve on toasted baguette rounds or crackers.