Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Zucchini with Shallots #recipe @LeslieBudewitz

LESLIE: When I served this easy vegetable dish the first time, Mr. Right said “Why haven’t you made this before?” Just because I didn’t know about it doesn’t mean you don’t, but I’m sharing anyway. I spotted it in the NY Times, which credits the late French chef Pierre Franey, who hosted several TV cooking shows in the 1990s and wrote NYT columns as the Sixty Minute Gourmet. The original calls for fresh bread crumbs; we used Panko, the crispy Japanese-style breadcrumbs we adore, and they worked beautifully. Use what you have and like. (And as usual, I’ve tweaked the instructions a bit.)

The first time I made this, I was afraid of the heat and as a result, didn’t get the zucchini properly browned and crisped. But the heat is necessary and short, so there’s really nothing to fear. Use a chopstick or the handle of a wooden spoon to check the temperature of the oil; touch the end to the hot oil and if you see bubbles, it’s ready!

This dish also turned out to be a great vehicle for taste-testing some flavored salts my BFF sent at Christmas—smoked Maldon, fennel with citrus, and porcini (mushroom) salt, all from Big John’s, a specialty foods wholesaler in Seattle open to the public. We liked all three, but the fennel-citrus salt was probably the best match for the flavors of the zucchini and shallots. If you’ve got unusual salt or spice combos hanging around your shelves, give them a try on veggies like these.

And if you’ve got leftovers, dress them up by serving them as a side with a different main course.

Congratulations to my blog sisters on their new releases: Linda Wiken, Marinating in Murder: Dinner Club Mysteries #3 (Penguin Random House), and Cleo Coyle, Dead Cold Brew: Coffeehouse Mystery #16 (mass market paperback reprint, Penguin Random House). 

And I'm thrilled to announce that I've signed a contract for two more Seattle Spice Shop Mysteries, to be published in 2019 and 2020!

Zucchini with Shallots

1-1/2 pounds small zucchini
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs or Panko-style dried bread crumbs
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons chopped shallots
4 tablespoons chopped parsley

Rinse the zucchini and pat try. Trim the ends, but don’t peel. Slice into 1/8 inch rounds.

Heat the oil in a large nonstick pan. When hot, add the zucchini and saute over high or medium-high heat, shaking the pan to toss the zucchini gently. Add salt and pepper and cook 5 minutes.

Add the bread crumbs and butter. When the crumbs begin to brown, add the shallots and cook one more minute, tossing. Transfer to a serving bowl and sprinkle with the parsley.

From the cover of AS THE CHRISTMAS COOKIE CRUMBLES, Food Lovers' Village Mystery #5 (Midnight Ink, 2018, available for pre-order now):  

In Jewel Bay---Montana's Christmas Village---all is merry and bright. At Murphy’s Mercantile, AKA the Merc, manager Erin Murphy is ringing in the holiday season with food, drink, and a new friend: Merrily Thornton. A local girl gone wrong, Merrily’s turned her life around. But her parents have publicly shunned her, and they nurse a bitterness that chills Erin.

When Merrily goes missing and her boss discovers he’s been robbed, fingers point to Merrily—until she’s found dead, a string of lights around her neck. The clues and danger snowball from there. Can Erin nab the killer—and keep herself in one piece—in time for a special Christmas Eve?

Leslie Budewitz is the author of the Food Lovers’ Village Mysteries and the Spice Shop Mysteries—and the first author to win Agatha Awards for both fiction and nonfiction. A past president of Sisters in Crime, she lives in northwest Montana with her husband, a musician and doctor of natural medicine, and their cat, an avid bird-watcher.

Swing by my website and join the mailing list for my seasonal newsletter. And join me on Facebook where I announce lots of giveaways from my cozy writer friends.


  1. Major congratulations on the contract! EMS591@aol.com

  2. Recipe sounds good! Looking forward to the Christmas Cookie Crumbles!

  3. Looking forward to trying the zucchini recipe this summer when I am overwhelmed with it.

  4. Hurray! A publisher with enough sense to continue your series!!!
    And the zucchini looks lovely.

  5. True story - my husband just asked me what he should make with the shallots I picked up the at the market this week, and we still have some zucchini (frozen) from last summer (it was a bumper crop!!!). :-)

    1. There you go! (This summer, let him grow the shallots, too!)

  6. Sounds great! I may try this one this week! Thanks! Great news abut the Spice shop. Love your books