Here in Chicago we had our first 90 degree day after a June in the 50s and 60s. I guess that means it’s summer. And summer means excess zucchini in the garden (not that I have a garden…) What to do with all those extra zukes? Here’s one idea. Ratatouille. Only yesterday I lacked onions and had some cilantro that needed to get used. So my take is a Mexi-version. Call it Mexitouille. Pretty dern good, methinks. Husboy, a card-carrying zucchini-hater, calls it “ground-breaking.” We ate it with some Trader Joe’s green chile and cheese tamales, but you can make it a main dish with rice or polenta if you want.

Mexi-inspired Ratatouille

Mexi-inspired Ratatouille

Mexitouille

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 small summer squash
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1/4 c. dry white wine
  • 1 15oz. can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 2 T fresh cilantro leaves

Cut the zucchini and squash in half length-wise and slice into 1/8-1/4″ pieces (half-moons). In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Mince or crush the garlic in a garlic crusher and saute in the oil. When it starts to turn golden brown, add the zucchini. Dice the jalapeno and add to the mix. Stir off-and-on until the zucchini starts to turn translucent. Add the wine and let some of the alcohol burn off. Add the canned tomatoes and fresh pepper (not the salt!) and turn down the heat to medium. Let simmer until all the zucchini and squash is translucent and the seedy centers begin to fall apart, approximately 30-ish minutes. While you’re waiting, you can pull the cilantro leaves off the stems and chop them roughly. Throw a few in for kicks and save the rest for garnish. Before serving, salt to taste. If you’re feeling saucy, you can top with grated parm and some more fresh pepper. Is goooood, no?