Zucchini by Kai Chan

by Kai Chan

There are many recipes for preparing zucchini, here are some simple examples:
In the first one the zucchini is cut into thin slices and then strips, mix in some salt and let it stand for half an hour,  then using your hand squeeze out the juice. Add lemon juice, olive oil, salt and ground pepper, this will make a nice refreshing salad. The second one is to parboil the zucchini whole until it turns bright green. Slice the marrow, add butter and lemon juice, salt and pepper, this is a very juicy and light vegetable dish.

Both Elizabeth David and Julia Child have a recipe for “gratin of rice and zucchini”, which I have adapted for this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350 ºF. Grate 1 pound of zucchini, put it in a sieve with a weight on top and collect the zucchini juice below, for about 30 minutes. Heat 1 cup of a mixture of the zucchini juice and  milk to boil ( be careful milk tends to over-boil easily ). Finely chopped one large onion and fry in a medium heat with 1 tablespoon of butter until the onion is slightly brown. Add the dry grated zucchini, then mix in 1 tablespoon of flour and 4 tablespoons of rice, gradually add the boiled liquid. Season the mixture with salt and ground pepper, a pinch of ground nutmeg and 4 tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese. Put this mixture into a lightly buttered gratin dish, approximately 8 x 2 inches and smooth it down. Add a tablespoon of Parmesan on the top of the dish, and cover it with a tablespoon of olive oil. Put the dish on the middle section of  oven, and let it bake for 20-25 minutes. The top should be lightly golden and bubbly. Enough for four.


The Raw and the Cooked, MYTHOLOGIQUES is a new column on the culture of eating and cooking, with contributions by various authors. The column name is borrowed from the title of a book by Claude Levi-Strauss. It is spontaneous, a little amusing but serious at the same time.

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