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Sicilian Dried Zucchini

20 August

Wondering what to do with all this season’s summer squash?  Here’s a great recipe for making and using dried zucchini (a.k.a. summer squash) by food writer and Hunter Angler Gardner Cook Hank Shaw of Honest-Food.net, which came to us via CSA member Laurel P.

Ingredients:
4 zucchini, about 3 pounds
Salt
Skewers (if you are not using a dehydrator)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cayenne or espellette pepper
2 tablespoons fresh mint, chopped
1 large garlic clove, sliced very thin (optional)
Juice of half a lemon

Directions:
1. Slice zucchini into disks about 1/4 inch thick. Sprinkle salt on a large cookie sheet or two then lay the zucchini on them. Sprinkle more salt on top. Leave at room temperature for 30 minutes if you are going to eat them in the next couple days, or for up to an hour if you plan on preserving these in jars.*
2. Pat dry with a towel and either dehydrate at 120°F or skewer. Dehydrate until pliable but leathery, about 3 hours or so in my dehydrator. Or, hang the zucchini in a hot dry place for 24 to 48 hours, depending on the temperature. In either case, you want them to be dry, but not hard. Think soft dried apricots.
3. When ready to cook, heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over high heat until almost smoking. Add the zucchini rounds and garlic (if using) and toss to coat with oil. Turn the heat down to medium and cook until browned, about 3 minutes.
4. In the final minute, add the cayenne and toss to combine, then do the same with the mint. Turn off the heat. Squeeze the lemon juice on the zucchini when you are ready to serve.

Serves 4 as a main course, or 6 as a side dish

* If you want to preserve them, do this: Salt the whole hour, press the zucchini gently with a cloth towel. Dredge them in vinegar (white wine would be ideal), dry until they are very leathery and store in a glass jar submerged in olive oil.

Here’s a link to the full text and description by Hank Shaw – http://honest-food.net/2013/08/08/dried-zucchini-recipe/