I’m known as a vegetable pusher within my family. With every meal I bluntly ask if they’ve had any veggies. If the answer is no, I give a not-so-subtle disapproving glance in their direction that sometimes creates an argument. Is it the most effective way to endorce nutrition? Proooobably not. But what can I say; I want everyone to binge on a tasty mound of fresh vegetables! However, since my family doesn’t share this desire, I often have to come up with tasty ways to pack some veg into their diets. That’s why this recipe was created and how it morphed into my go-to vegetable side dish for weeknight (and weekend) meals.
It starts with sliced zucchini, red onion, and red bell pepper. The zucchini is meaty and clean tasting, which plays off the spiciness of the onion and sweetness of the pepper really nicely. A ton of minced garlic gets tossed in, but for that little extra sumtin-sumtin I use choppped kalamata olives and sundried tomatoes. You get a soft, tangy kick from the olives, while the sundried tomatoes provide a smoky condensed tomato flavor that’s to die for. After a dash of this and that, you get a tasty vegetable dish that your family will be clamoring to eat.
A word to the wise: do not overcook the vegetables. Mushy veggies are gross. You want them to maintain their “bite”. To do this, put them over high(ish) heat and just keep an eye on the pan so nothing burns. Oh, and please use fresh basil at the end. Fresh herbs polish off any dish…especially when you’re already using perfectly ripe fresh ingredients.
Anyway! That’s all for today. See ya in August!
**I prefer sundried tomatoes packed in oil, but have also used the dried kind successfully.**
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 zucchini (sliced)
1 red bell pepper (sliced)
1/2 red onion (halved and sliced)
4 garlic cloves (minced)
5 sundried tomatoes (chopped)
6 kalamata olives (pitted, chopped)
4 basil leaves
Dash of red pepper flakes
Dash of dried oregano
Salt/pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sliced zucchini, red pepper, and onion. Add a pinch of salt/pepper (bigger pinch of pepper). Cook for 3 minutes, stirring once.
Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and oregano. Stir to combine. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add the chopped olives and sundried tomatoes. Stir to combine. Cook for 1 minute.
Move to a serving dish and toss with torn, fresh basil.
Serve and enjoy!