Zucchini Basil Spread
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
olive oil for cooking
3 med zucchini, 3 1/2 cups rough chopped
1 med onion rough chopped
one bunch basil
3-4 cloves garlic
1 cup grated parmesean
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
salt to taste
This spread came about due to a glut of summer squash that coincided with a fancy new blender at home. Basil season, and the yearly garlic harvest played their part, as well. This spread has been in regular rotation since its conception early this year, as zucchini season really came into force. But it isn’t just a way to use up zucchini, or hide it. It’s delicious in its own right. The flavor is, of course, similar to pesto, but the squash adds body and lightness to the combination, mellowing and stretching the flavors of basil and parmesan. We’ve used it all sorts of ways; as a sauce for pasta, or as a dip for fresh veg. A smear of this on a plate makes a lovely bed for grilled vegetables, (including, yes, zucchini) and it is delightful, too, tossed with dry farmed tomatoes.
Makes about 1 quart.
Roughly chop the onion and summer squash.
Drizzle olive oil into a pan, and sauté the onions over high heat until they begin to turn golden, and have some darker edges. Add the squash, and cook another 3-4 minutes, until softened slightly, and browned in spots.
Place the cooked vegetables in the blender, and blend until the texture is smooth and flows easily through the blender.
Remove the basil leaves from their stems, and crush the garlic cloves and remove the papery peel.
Add basil and garlic to the blender, along with the grated cheese and lemon juice.
Process until smooth, and taste. Add salt, if desired, or another squeeze of lemon.
This spread is lovely served still warm from the cooking process, but can be served cool, as well. Keeps in the fridge for up to a week.