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The staple side dish to a summer dinner. With an abundance of seasonal zucchini, this will surely be your family’s favorite way to bring freshness to every plate.
It certainly wouldn’t be a summer with my family without my dad’s garden zucchini. For my mom it just meant getting overly creative with recipes while using up the overwhelming supply. It was actually more of a bummer when Bambi and his friends came to visit and snacked on the buds before they could grow.
Sticking with the theme that almost EVERY dish needs a side of veggies, this was a seasonal favorite in our household. There was something so refreshing and comforting about the smell of cooked zucchini in the pan while my dad was firing up the grill. Ten years later, I still miss it. I decided to write about it and immediately while cooking I was taken back to summers in the kitchen with my family.
Now, the comedy behind the whole dish is hearing my mom complain about how much zucchini we had. Every summer day she would brag about how she slowly made progress to eliminate it from the counter tops with a new recipe here and there. But we all knew when you thought it was over…it never was.
The great thing I have appreciated about zucchini after all these years (now wishing I had my own overgrown supply) is that it really can lighten up so many recipes. Plus, it has such a neutral flavor that you rarely hear people making a fuss about this squash in their food. And quite frankly…half the time you barely even know it’s there.
This recipe highlights the vegetable at it’s purest by using simple ingredients. Your summer picnic will be complete with this wholesome side.
Summer Lemon-Herb Zucchini
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- ½ cup onion chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic minced
- 1 pound zucchini chopped or sliced
- ¼ cup red bell peppers diced
- ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
- ¼ teaspoon oregano
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 lemon zested and juiced
- salt & pepper to taste
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- ¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved (optional)
- ¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese (optional)
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley (optional)
- Chop and prepare all vegetables accordingly. Heat a large frying pan with olive oil for 1-2 minutes on medium- high heat. Once heated add onion, salt and pepper. Let cook for 2 minutes before adding garlic. Cook for an additional minute. Add zucchini and peppers and cook for 6 minutes.
- Reduce to medium heat and then add Italian seasoning, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, pepper flakes, lemon, salt and pepper. If desired add cherry tomatoes and parmesan.
- Remove from heat. Top with cheese (if desired), salt and pepper if to taste.
- ***Nutrition based on set ingredients, not optional. Cheese and tomatoes add an additional 25-45 calories per serving