Zucchini in Israeli Tomato Sauce
Zucchini is still plentiful at the markets here and I decided to make this dish as one of the sides for my Rosh Hashanah feast. I gravitate toward the Sephardic dishes for several reasons, due to my location, the ingredients are easier to find and considering that this location, though only circumstantial, is very dear to my heart, Mediterranean dishes always win for me. Past life? The birth places of my mother and father’s grandparents certainly don’t explain it. I should crave butter, meat and potatoes, pickled and dried fish.
There was a chicken that we enjoyed with this meal and though the recipe sounded exciting, the chicken tasted like a roasted chicken. Delicious roasted chicken, but roasted chicken nonetheless. I figured that the sides, the challah and the dessert (coming soon) would be more enticing.
I also want to note that I complain that my mother never taught me anything about Judaism growing up, it isn’t her fault, her mother never taught her anything, and I don’t think her mother had taught her anything either. Despite all of this, my mother did teach me how to make a chicken into several meals. That is nothing to scoff at, I must say. I managed 4 meals from 2 chickens:
- roasted chicken
- chicken salad
- chicken, potato and spinach curry
- chicken stewed with the leftover zucchini over couscous
Plus 3 liters of broth. Doing what I can to make my mother proud.
Zucchini in Isreaeli Tomato Sauce
from 1,000 Jewish Recipes by Fay Levy
- 4 to 5 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 3/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
- 2 lbs ripe tomatoes, peeled seeded, and chopped, or two 28-ounce cans plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/4 tsp sugar, or to taste
- pinch og cayenne pepper
- 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 lbs zucchini, halved and cut into 3/4-inch slices
- 2 tbsp snipped fresh dill
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan. Add onion and sauté over medium-low heat about 7 minutes or until soft and golden. Add garlic, cumin, paprika, and turmeric and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper and stir well. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cook uncovered over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, 20 to 30 minutes or until tomatoes become a thick, chunky sauce. Add sugar and cayenne pepper, and adjust seasoning.
Heat 2 to 3 tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy skillet. Add zucchini, salt and pepper. Sauté over medium heat, stirring often, about 3 minutes or until nearly tender. Add sauce and simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until zucchini are done to your taste. Taste and adjust seasoning. Stir in dill. Serve hot or at room temperature.