Even though it’s officially fall, my refrigerator still has quite a bit of summer produce- especially summer squash and zucchini. And so, I thought it was time to share one of my vegetable-based components: spiced zucchini. It’s simple and is the perfect companion to grain bowls, quesadillas, and eggs. I typically roast vegetables but the zucchini does best with high-heat and I’ve found I tend to saute it more often than not. Add to that freshly ground spices and you have yourself a good start to dinner.
Spiced Zucchini | Component Cooking
A summer component with 5 ingredients, this spiced zucchini is wonderful in tacos, enchiladas, and grain bowls.
- 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 medium zucchini (see note)
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- Sea salt, to taste
- Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin and coriander seeds. Toast, shaking the pan, until the spices have browned and are fragrant. Transfer to a mortar and pestle or spice grinder to grind.
- Dice the zucchini into ¼” cubes. Wipe out the skillet and return to medium to medium-high heat. Add the the olive oil to the pan followed by the zucchini. Cook, only stirring a few times, until the zucchini is almost browned and tender. Add the spices and continue to cook until the zucchini is browned.
- Remove the zucchini from the heat and add the lemon juice and salt to taste. Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator and use within 4 or so days.
Tips & Tricks: "medium zucchini" is rather subjective but I use zucchini that are around 10" long 2 to 3" thick.
For the spices, grinding your own spices is really the key to flavor but pre-ground spices will work. Use a 1:1 ratio.
Nutrition: see the information.
Spiced Zucchini Variations
Herbs: At the end of cooking, stir in a handful of chopped cilantro, parsley, or even basil.
Spice: If you like things on the spicier side, add a pinch of cayenne or crushed red pepper. You could also use ground chili peppers.
Garlic: Before adding the spices to the zucchini, add 1 clove of minced garlic and cook until golden.
How to use the spiced zucchini
Quesadillas/Tacos: Add the cooked zucchini to quesadillas or use as a taco filling. The zucchini works well with beans (especially pinto and black beans) as well as lentils.
Enchiladas: Use the zucchini as enchilada filling along with beans or other vegetables.
Grain Bowls: Top grain bowls with a few spoonfuls of the zucchini and finish with a fried egg, crumbly, salty cheese and/or salsa.
Omelette: Use the zucchini as a filling for an omelette. I love doing an herb-heavy omelette with zucchini and cheese tucked inside.
Dip: Blend the zucchini with yogurt or cashew cream to make a creamy zucchini dip. Serve with crackers or toasted bread.