dinner hassled

Just what you’ve always wanted — a weeknight hassle — and it’s going to be delicious!

We’ve started off the month high on juicing, but cooking made its imminent return and just in time for welcoming summer. If we’re going to do a welcome, let’s do it right, with a healthy summer squash like zucchini. This member of the Cucurbitaceae family is one of the healthiest squashes around, and even related to October’s beloved pumpkin (a dinnervine favorite). Although we won’t be carving our green guys, we will be slicing them-up, hassle-back potato style. This recipe is so easy, it doesn’t seem like it could be flavorful, but it is … take my word for it. If not my word, let me entice you with the likes of sun-dried tomatoes, garlic & basil, to turn this ordinary side into Italian success. Pair this with a steak, chicken parm … I don’t know, you tell me?!

Grab 5 minutes, a zucchini, and let’s do this ….

5 from 1 reviews
Italian Hassle-Back Zucchini
Zucchini gets upgraded into an Italian hassle-back style side!
Serves:  2 zucchinis-worth
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
What to get:
  • 2 large zucchinis (fatter ends the better for this)
  • jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • fresh basil leaves
  • extra virgin olive oil (EVOO, good quality)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or chopped finely
  • kosher salt (to taste)
  • coarsely ground black pepper (to taste)
  • dry white wine (use ~1/4 cup)
What to do:
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Wash and dry zucchinis.
  3. Chop ~3 T of the sun-dried tomatoes.
  4. Chop basil finely.
  5. mince garlic
  6. On a large cutting board with sharp knife, slice zucchini hassle-back style (horizontally, virtually all the way down, while leaving slices all attached at base, making slices ~1/4 inch).
  7. Oil a pie dish, place hassle-back zucchinis next to each other to fit.
  8. With a basting brush, wipe zucchini with oil liberally, getting into crevices made from cutting.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. With fingers (this gets messy!), stuff some minced garlic, basil and sun-dried tomatoes pieces down into slice crevices as best you can (zucchini will shrink, opening these areas, when cooking).
  11. Pour some white wine around base of zucchini.
  12. Bake in preheated oven for ~25 minutes, or until zucchini slices are tender with fork. Serve in hassle-back wedges alongside your main dish, or stand alone for a lighter meal.
This is easy, but make sure your knife is sharp to allow you to make thin slices and not cut through zucchini, keeping the hassle-back slices intact at base. This would also be delicious sprinkled with parmesan cheese, last 10 minutes of cooking!
Serving size: as much as you want!

This dish slaps a boring, brown baked-potato, right in the face! It’s culinarily & aesthetically pleasing on a plate, and we know it’s healthier than plain potatoes. Zucchini is a well researched little squash, full of immune-boosting carotenoids like alpha- and beta-carotene. I got the squash’s stats too … not too shabby. One cup of diced zucchini (raw) offers you, my fine friend— 32% of your Daily Value of vitamin C, 12.5% vitamin B6, and only 18 calories — and if you’re worried about the doughnut(s) you had for breakfast — that’s less than 1% of your daily total. See, I knew this more-vegetable-thing held some merit ….

You can’t really go wrong flavoring with garlic and wine, at least in my book. baking in the oven frees your time and range, for making your main dish. Zucchini is mild and peaks during the summer months, so what are you waiting for? Winter squash will be here before we know it, so get some green while the getting is good, and enjoy this simple, weeknight side—Buon Appetito. 

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Welcome to the dinnervine!

Thank you for visiting the dinnervine! In the words of Julia Child, "People who love to eat, are always the best people," and I couldn't agree more. I hope you enjoy these dishes as much as I did making them. Here's to creating new recipes and memories with friends & family, cheers! 

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