For the last month I've been going to the gym and seeing a personal trainer, Oscar. Oscar told me that 5 nights a week I'm not allowed any "bad" carbs after 6 pm. That means no pasta, potatoes, rice, etc. Thus, I've been coming up with dishes that incorporate more vegetables, legumes and squash for dinner. Honestly, this hasn't been really hard for me at all, as I love vegetables.
That's why I ended up buying a bag of zucchini a week or so ago. Alas, that bag of zucchini has been sitting in my refrigerator for way too long without being used. I decided to rectify this situation by making Zucchini Caviar. This is a dish from my childhood. My parents and grandparents made it often, and so I called my dad just to get a few pointers on this "recipe."
1 tablespoon olive oil
5 zucchini, peeled, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
salt & pepper to taste
5 fresh basil leaves, torn into pieces *** The original recipe would not use basil leaves, as we did not really have them in Russia. Instead, it would use green onions. But you can add any herbs you like.
2 teaspoons finely chopped red onion
1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add garlic and zucchini and saute for 25 minutes, making sure not to burn or brown the vegetables too much. Zucchini should be very soft at this point. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Mash the cooked garlic and zucchini with a fork and let cool a bit.
3. Add basil and red onions and mix together.
4. Serve at room temperature or cold.
This is a great side dish or can be used as a spread on crackers.
Just so that you know, 5 zucchini make a bit less than a cup of the final product.
PS You can make the same dish with roasted eggplant. Roast an eggplant, remove the flesh from the skin, mash, add olive oil or sunflower oil, salt, pepper, finely chopped onion and parsley. Or you could add a bit of tahini. Or you could add finely minced ginger, garlic and cilantro.