Zucchini Provenšal

The word provenšal comes from the region in southern France called Provence--close to Italy. And anything near Italy is going to use garlic. When you see provenšal tacked on to a word that means it includes garlic, tomatoes and olive oil. This recipe is very simple and basic, but a welcome change of pace for your family.

There are many vegetables that you can "provenšal" to make a nice side dish--green beans and yellow squash come to mind. This recipe calls for zucchini, because you are asking yourself about now what you are going to do with your prize 13 pound zucchini that you grew this summer with $25.00 worth of miracle grow. Thinking of the long winter months ahead--this dish freezes well, too. You'll need:

1/4 cup                olive oil
3 cups                 washed, diced zucchini
1/2 cup                diced onion
3 cloves               mashed garlic
1 TB                   chopped fresh parsley
2 ea.                  tomatoes diced up
1 TB                   chopped fresh basil
8 oz                   tomato sauce
to taste               salt and white pepper
3 TB                   fresh grated parmesan

In a large fry pan, let the olive oil get hot. Add the zucchini and onions and saute them until they are translucent. Add the rest and simmer for 10 minutes.

For mashing garlic, my favorite way is to sprinkle a little salt on the clove, then with a large knife spread it back and forth like your mixing putty. This will make it fine insted of lumpy. My wife's method is to take a whole bunch of cloves and puree them in the Cuisinart.... use what you need then refrigerate the rest. Whatever! And as always, a creative cook is a good cook.