Pan-cooking zucchini keeps the flavor of the squash fresh and doesn't take much time or talent. Boiling the zucchini in a pot can make it mushy and steaming doesn't add any flavor. If you can slice and saute, you can cook zucchini in a pan. As an added bonus, the thin skin of the zucchini doesn't need to be peeled before cooking. Serve up a variety of yellow, green and variegated zucchini for a colorful, hot vegetable side dish.
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Zippy Sauteed Zucchini
Wash the zucchini under running cold water to remove any dirt or debris. Dry with a paper towel.
Slice the stem end off the squash. Cut the zucchini into cubes, slices or strips. The thicker the zucchini is cut, the longer it will take to cook.
Place a bit of butter in a saute pan. You could also use cooking oil such as olive, sunflower or peanut oil. Place the saute pan on the stove. Turn the heat to medium.
Put the zucchini into the pan when the butter has melted and bubbles around the edges. The oil should be hot enough that the zucchini sizzles when it hits the pan.
Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the squash looks a bit translucent and is limp but not mushy. Season with salt and pepper. Add a sprinkle of red pepper flakes for extra zip.
Perfect Pan Patties
Prepare the zucchini by washing it. Shred using a box grater or food processor.
Mix the shredded zucchini with flour and beaten eggs. A ratio of 1 egg, 1/4 cup flour to 2 medium-size squash works. Season with salt and pepper. You want the mixture to be moist enough to stick together but not soggy.
Form the zucchini mixture into patties about 3 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick.
Pour about 1/4 inch cooking oil into a saute pan and set to medium-high heat. When the oil shimmers, it's hot enough. Slide the patties into the pan and cook until the first side is golden brown. Lower the heat to medium. Flip the patties over and cook until the other side is brown and the zucchini is cooked through. Test a patty to make sure.
Wash the zucchini. Cut into thin slices or strips.
Place enough oil in a saute pan to cover the bottom. Put on high heat. When the oil shimmers, add the zucchini to the pan.
Toss the zucchini as it cooks. Using a spatula in each hand, scoop up the zucchini from the center of the pan and move it to the outer part of the pan. The zucchini that was on the outer part of the pan should slide in and take the place of the squash you just lifted out. Continue stir frying until the zucchini is done. It shouldn't take more than 3 or 4 minutes since the pan is on high heat.