I only grow one “little” zucchini plant. It’s not little, of course. A zucchini plant is only little for a week then it takes over your garden, leaving a trail of zucchini throughout the neighborhood. [If you are not a gardener, I will let you in on the joke: gardeners end up with so much zucchini that they start leaving it on all their neighbors’ doorsteps.]
My preferred zucchini variety is a cultivar called Ronde de Nice, a round light green zucchini from Nice (naturally). It’s been my favorite for years. It’s a little sweeter and less watery than classic dark green zucchini. Of course, it’s prolific and that means I need to find a lot of recipes for zucchini.
This recipe is adapted from the Moosewood Restaurant, one of the original hippie vegetarian restaurants. It’s located in Ithaca, New York, a little city by a beautiful lake. I went to a small college on the same lake but it wasn’t until my daughter went to that collage that I finally ate at the restaurant. I was not much of a veggie eater as a college student but I’ve come around.
You can make this recipe with canned chickpeas, like I did, but I think it would be delicious with 2 cups of cooked chicken or, my favorite red meat, leftover leg of lamb.
Turkish Zucchini Stew
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
3 medium zucchini, cut into cubes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can (14-16 oz.) chickpeas
1/2 cup coarsely chopped Kalamata olives
1 large pinch ground cumin
juice of 1 large lemon
salt and pepper
pinch of Aleppo or cayenne red pepper
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh or frozen dill
1 cup crumbled feta or goat cheese
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute until the onions start to brown. Add the garlic and cook another minute. Reduce heat to medium. Add the zucchini, oregano, a sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Cook for 10 minutes until the zucchini is tender but not soft. Add the chickpeas, olive, and cumin. Stir to combine, cover, and cook another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in lemon juice, more salt and pepper, red pepper, and dill. Serve over rice or bulgur. Garnish with cheese.