I first had this zucchini experience several years ago while visiting friends in Denver. While preparing a delicious dinner for us, our host set out a small bowl of perfectly vibrant goodness, flecked with hearty dark green bits and announced that we were to adorn our slices of french bread with it. Zucchini marmalade, she called it. Even better with a slice of soft cheese on top, she said. And she was right. The best part about it is two-fold. One, it makes shockingly quick work of any zucchini surplus, and two, it’s sincerely the easiest recipe I have on file. In fact, it’s not even on file, because I’ve never actually written down the recipe before. And with only three ingredients there’s plenty of room for improvisation.
Fill a large saute pan to the brim with shredded zucchini. For me today, this meant using a bag of previously frozen (now thawed) zucchini that had been graciously saved from the bugs by a neighbor who shredded and stored it for me while I was away, along with a half of another ENORMOUS (literally calf-of-my-leg sized) zucchini that I scraped the seeds out of and still had enough to fill my entire 11-cup food processor. Two tablespoons of oil (your choice; I used safflower today but have had great and reliable results with olive oil) and garlic salt added to your taste. Purists out there may want to use fresh garlic and I say do so! It will only make it better. Reduce the zucchini on medium-high heat until there is little to no liquid left in the pan. This may take upwards of 20-30 minutes.
If it begins to scorch, lower the heat and scrape up the browned bits into the zucchini. That, also, will only make it better! A word of caution for those of you who take my last comment to heart: a little burn is good, a lot is not. I have, in the past, continued cooking the zucchini well past the green point and into the brown. It still tasted heavenly but wasn’t much to look at. Do yourself a favor and begin tasting for correct texture when the zucchini begins to stick a little. It should almost melt in your mouth and still be vibrantly green. I was left with one pint jar (really! that’s it!) when it was all said and done. Kept in the fridge, it should last for at least a week.
Enjoy immediately or, if you have enough, squirrel it away for later use. I recommend gently re-warming it and using it as a panini spread, or as a delicious complement to soft cheese and fresh bread.