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Braised Zucchini with Poblano Peppers and Green Onions

Braised Zucchini with Poblano Peppers and Green Onions

I consider zucchini a summer vegetable (though botanically speaking, zucchini are a summer fruit, specifically a berry as they’re the swollen ovary of the zucchini blossom, blah, blah, blah). But January is a difficult month for seasonal shoppers. Sometimes out of season zucchini are the best looking green thing in the market. So I’ve taken a summertime staple and given it a winter weather braise. Since I purchased the zucchini at a Mexican market, this version of braised zucchini is stewed with poblanos and those slightly bulbous green onions that I can only find in Latin markets. The kind I’d be tempted to call spring onions if it weren’t the dead of winter.

Braised Zucchini

Braising is not for meat alone. While it’s true that braised zucchini won’t take as long to cook as a pot of short ribs the concept behind braising is the same. You can choose to braise in the oven or on the top of the stove. Braising is a versatile method of cooking. Even specific recipes, like today’s Braised Zucchini with Poblano Peppers and Green Onions, are easily adaptable once you have the technique mastered. With braising there’s always some wiggle room to make the dish your own.

As with meat, the key to success with braised vegetables is to give them plenty of time in the braise. Low-slow cooking allows the fibers to expel their moisture then relax and reabsorb the flavorful braising broth. This process is called osmosis. The long and short of it is that everything re-hydrates and becomes very tender with whatever amazing flavors you put in the braising liquid.

The inspiration for this potful of braised zucchini comes from Prune, a somewhat challenging (but highly rewarding) cookbook by Gabrielle Hamilton. This recipe is one of the most straightforward in the book. It makes a very good starting place in understanding the kind of comfort food that makes Prune Restaurant in NYC a modern classic. GREG

PS I served braised zucchini earlier this month as a side dish to Stewed Pork and Creamed Hominy. Recipes that I also adapted from Prune.

Braised Zucchini with Poblano Peppers and Green OnionsBraised Zucchini with Poblano Peppers and Green OnionsGreen OnionsBraised Zucchini with Poblano Peppers and Green Onions

Butter-Braised Zucchini with Poblanos and Green Onions

Print This Recipe Total time Yield 4–6Source Adapted from Prune by Gabrielle HamiltonPublished
Butter-Braised Zucchini with Poblanos and Green Onions

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pound zucchini (Timmed lightly and cut into ½ to 3/4‑inch thick rounds)
  • ¼ pound green onions (whites and most of the greens cut into ¼ pieces)
  • 1 poblano pepper (stemmed and sliced into ¼‑inch rings, seeds discarded)
  • 5 clove garlic (peeled and sliced)
  • 8 tablespoon unsalted butter (cut into ½‑inch chunks)
  • kosher salt (as needed)

Directions

In a heavy bottomed Dutch oven with a lid melt about half the butter over medium-low heat. Add onions, peppers, and garlic along with a couple big pinches of salt. Cook the mixture until the vegetables begin to soften, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and another pinch or two of salt. Add the remaining butter, stirring gently to coat the vegetables as the butter melts. Once this is accomplished cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and lower the heat. Allow the vegetables to braise in its own liquid until very soft and nearly falling apart, about 25 minutes. Season to taste, serve warm.