Sautéed Saffron-Spiced Zucchini
January 28, 2012 42 Views
Zucchini is one of my favourite vegetables…especially when it’s freshly picked from our (home away-from home’s) garden! Zucchini’s sweet, mild flavour makes it an ideal first food for baby.
This is a quick and healthy side dish I like to prepare for the entire family….including my 7 month old daughter. I simply set a portion aside for her and either mash it with a fork or purée it in a small food processor.
We all know that saffron is a pricey herb, however, I personally think it’s worth adding to recipes now and again because it adds such a unique flavour. I love adding it to mild veggies as well as seafood, risotto, and even frittata.
For this particular recipe a pinch goes a long way…which means there will be more than enough to set aside for another meal, such as one of these:
(Yields about 3/4 cup)
1 clove garlic, halved or finely minced
1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 large zucchini (about 1 cup)
1/2 small red onion, if desired
pinch (about 1/8 tsp.) of saffron
This might look like a lot of saffron but it is equivalent to about 1/2 a teaspoon. I used about 1/4 of the total amount for this recipe.
In a small frying pan sauté garlic in olive oil on medium heat for about 2 minutes. In the meantime, finely dice onion and cut zucchini into quarters lengthwise then slice thinly.
Add zucchini and onion to the pan and cook covered for 8-10 minutes or until translucent and fork tender.
Once the veggies are cooked add the saffron and stir to combine for about 1 minute. The zucchini will turn a bright golden hue right before your very eyes (perhaps, a “magic trick” to show the kids?!).
Voila! It’s as simple (and tasty) as that!
Serve alone puréed for baby or as a chunky side dish for toddlers.
Purée with rice or pasta for baby or add to pre-cooked pasta or rice for a light and fresh lunch the entire family can enjoy!
Garnish with a sprinkle of fresh parsley for added flavour.
“Did you know…?”
Some components in saffron are therapeutic and are used in traditional medicines, such as antiseptics and antidepressants. Ever wonder why saffron is so expensive? It takes anywhere from 70,000 to 250,000 flowers to make one pound of saffron and the flowers have to be individually hand-picked in the autumn when fully open.