Saturday, August 7, 2010

Peeled Zucchini...Your Secret Ally

Who doesn't like zucchini? Well, it turns out the answer to that question is "Everyone in my house except me." I don't understand these people. It's green, it gets squishy when steamed, it's bland...oh, now I get it. But it got me thinking: with these qualities going for it, zucchini could be my secret ingredient in a lot of dishes, lending its nutritional value without standing up in the middle of the dish yelling "I am zucchini! Hear me roar!" Except for one thing, that telltale green skin.

You know where this is going, right?

Yep, peeled and grated, zucchini fades into the surrounding ingredients and takes a back seat to stronger flavors. And I know for a fact that it's undetectable because I've included it in a number of dishes lately and my supertaster husband, Mike, hasn't noticed it at all. I know that he reads this blog, so I'm only going to reveal the recipe for one of the zucchini hiders. Mike, I love you, man, but sometimes it's better that you don't know. I'm doing this for your own good. Really. Did I mention that I love you?

Try it for yourself, and you'll see that it works. But for goodness sake, get rid of those incriminating peels and zucchini ends before somebody sees them!

Garden Sauce for Pasta
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
2 bell peppers, seeded and diced (use red bell peppers for maximum invisibility)
1 c. zucchini, peeled and grated
1 T fresh herbs, minced (parsley, oregano, basil...whatever's handy)
Salt and pepper to taste

Put everything except for the herbs in a pot, cover, and cook over medium heat until all the vegetables have softened, stirring occasionally. Using an immersion blender, purée the vegetables until smooth. If the sauce seems too thick, add water to thin it out. Add the herbs, salt and pepper. If the kiddos don't like leafy green things, you can add the herbs before you purée the sauce.