Is This The New Avocado Toast?

Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
By Kristen Miglore

Every week — often with your help — Food52's senior editor Kristen Miglore is unearthing recipes that are nothing short of genius.

Today, a simple preparation turns zucchini into the best version of itself: butter.

We've turned bananas into ice cream, white chocolate into caramel, cauliflower into steak — and for our next bit of alchemy, zucchini will become butter! Or, at least convincingly butter-like.

Zucchini butter is simpler than you'd ever think and tastes richer than any vegetable has a right to. The technique comes via The Kitchn from a caterer in Los Angeles named Jennie Cook (also known, incidentally, for her Funny Cake).

It's barely a recipe at all, but a concept you'll find yourself returning to once you discover how delicious it is. It turns out zucchini wants to be butter. Grated fine, it cooks down quickly, pooling into a soft, freckly green pile. (Food52er inpatskitchen, who first tipped me off to zucchini butter, does the same trick with radishes.)

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Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
Jennie Cook's Zucchini Butter
From Jennie Cook by way of The Kitchn
Makes about 2 cups

Ingredients
2 lbs zucchini or assorted summer squash (feel free to use less or add extra — cooking times will vary)
1/4 cup olive oil or butter
2 minced shallots, garlic, or combination of both
Salt and pepper

Photo: Courtesy of Food52.
Instructions
1. Coarsely grate the zucchini. Let it drain in a colander for 3 to 4 minutes, or until you are ready to begin cooking. To hasten cooking time, squeeze the water out of the zucchini by wringing it in a clean cloth towel.

2. In a deep skillet, heat the olive oil/butter. Sauté the shallots or garlic briefly. Add the zucchini, and toss. 

3. Cook and stir over medium to medium-high heat until the zucchini reaches a spreadable consistency, about 15 minutes. If you scorch the bottom, turn the flame down! (And, scrape those delicious bits into the butter for added flavor — you can splash in a little water to help deglaze the pan.) 

The zucchini will hold its bright-green color and slowly caramelize into a nice vegetable jam. Spread it on toast in place of actual butter. Cake a thick layer in a sandwich with salted tomatoes or soft cheese. Sauce a grilled pizza. Consider it a side dish. Or, just eat a big heap of it, right out of the pan, like we did.
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