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Zucchini Ragoût

Serves 4 - 6

I find that cooked zucchini is usually watery and tasteless unless you extract all of   its water before cooking. This recipe concentrates the flavor of the zucchini by first removing most of its water, then baking the zucchini slices in a casserole smothered with a thick tomato sauce, in a modified ragoût style. It's a perfect vegetable accompaniment to sausages, steaks grilled on the BBQ or a rack of lamb.  It can also be served cold as a vegetable salad or spread on toasted baguette slices, in a French version of an Italian bruschetta.

Preparing the Zucchini:
  • Slice 6 medium-sized zucchini into thin slices.
  • Place the slices in a large non-aluminum colander and salt liberally, shaking the slices to distribute the salt evenly.
  • Place the colander in the sink or on a deep plate to catch the water which the salt will extract.  Let the salted zucchini slices sit for 30 - 60 minutes.
  • Rinse off the salt thoroughly, then extract the remaining water by squeezing small handfuls of the zucchini.  Fluff them up with your fingers to separate the slices.  Makes 4 cups.
  • Gently sauté the dewatered zucchini in oil olive over low heat in a large flat-bottomed frying pan for about 15 minutes, until the slices become translucent. Don't let them brown and don't stir too much to prevent mashing the delicate slices.  Set aside until ready for final assembly and baking.
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Thin slices of zucchini become translucent
and supple after dewatering.

  French-style tomato sauce:
(This recipe could be simplified by starting with Pomi brand tomatoes in a "tetra-pak" and picking up the recipe at the second step.)

 Final Assembly and Baking: