My goal is to change the misconception that creatively preparing vegetables has to be a lot of work to produce a lot of flavor. I actively avoid recipes with too many ingredients or that require the use of every pan in the house plus some kitchen tools you don't have and didn't know exist. I don't do precious when it comes to my food. I do do good flavor with quick and easy preparations that can easily fit into our busy lifestyles.
I'd like to introduce you to my new favorite side dish, or, some nights when I am teaching yoga and arrive home late, dinner. It features zucchini, which I've been told grows profusely. When we lived in New York's Hudson Valley, friends with gardens were always giving us zucchini so I can vouch for the truth of this. It's easy to make, has great flavor, and can be eaten on its own or served as a side dish for everything from poached fish to grilled steak. Yes, it's that versatile! It's zucchini with white beans and onions.
Zucchini with White Beans and Onions
1 pound of zucchini, washed and ends trimmed. You can also use a combination of zucchini and summer squash.
1 small to medium yellow onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
fresh ground black pepper
Italian parsley, washed and chopped for garnish (optional)
Cut the zucchini in half, lengthwise. Then cut each half in half again so the whole zucchini is cut into quarters lengthwise. Line the fourths up together and make a large dice at 1/2-inch to 1-inch intervals.
Heat a 12-inch saute pan over medium heat. Add olive oil. Swirl around the pan and add the onion and garlic. Saute over medium heat, stirring often, until translucent. Add the zucchini, and a couple of pinches of salt and pepper. Cook the mixture over medium heat for 7-10 minutes, until the zucchini is starting to soften, but still firm to the bite. If the onions start browning too much, turn the heat down to medium low. Add the white beans, stir to incorporate. Cook another 2-3 minutes to warm the beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper. If you like, garnish with chopped parsley. Can be served warm or at room temperature.
Nutritional awesomeness: Zucchini is low in carbohydrates and a good source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A. Onions are a good source of Vitamin C, Folate, and Potassium. Cannellini beans are a good source of protein and fiber, help regulate blood sugar levels, and are an excellent source of many vitamins and minerals.