I am not a gardner. I am not sure what the opposite of a green thumb is but I have it. I blame my lack of magic touch on plants of all kinds (I once killed a cactus) on a lifetime of urban condo living. I have never lived in a free-standing home which means that I have never really had a garden (yes, I once had an extensive patio where mint thrived), which excuses at least some of my lack of talent with plants.
That said, one year I had a zucchini plant. It not only survived but produced zucchini at a rate that was worrisome particularly since there is only that much one can do with zucchini. Zucchini grows like a weed to the most talentless gardener and there is always a lot of it. I no longer have a zucchini plant, but recently I got a few giant zucchini specimens from friends. I called on my inner zucchini lover to find a few ways to use the bounty and came up with two that bring me back to my Romanian roots – zucchini with tomato sauce and stuffed zucchini. I managed to shoot a few pictures of the zucchini with sauce – here is the recipe.
Romanian Zucchini with Sauce
Ingredients: 1 large zucchini (or two medium ones), cubed into 1/2 to 1 inch pieces; 2 tablespoons butter; 1/2 onion, finely chopped; 1 teaspoon flour; 1/2 pint tomato sauce; freshly chopped dill to taste; salt and pepper to taste.
Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter on a low flame. Add the zucchini and a sprinkle of salt, stir, and cover the pot to allow the zucchini to steam for 5-7 minutes.
In a separate pot, melt the rest of the butter on medium-low and add the onion. Stir for about 2 minutes until the onion becomes translucent. Add the flour and stir well to avoid any clumping. Add the tomato sauce (I took half a pint of canned Roma tomatoes and whizzed them in the blender to get my sauce). The result should be a saucy mixture. If it isn’t, add either water or homemade vegetable stock.
Serve as a side dish with your preferred protein – I like mine with chicken.