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Zucchini with Lemon and Thyme

Here's another recipe for you green-thumb, gardening people to save for later in the summer when your zucchinis start running amok.  Our first experience with zucchinis was an interesting one.  When my husband was in graduate school at Utah State we lived in student housing, and thus didn't have a garden.  However, one summer someone in Logan offered a 1/2 acre of their land to any group of students who wanted to have a small garden (each couple got about two rows), and we were poor and thought this would save us money, so we signed up.  We had never gardened before, but knew we wanted some tomatoes and cucumbers, and had heard that zucchini was pretty easy to grow.  So we planted a couple tomato plants, a couple cucumber plants, and five hills of zucchini with 3 plants in each hill.  I can hear you experienced gardeners laughing from here, and for you inexperienced gardeners, take my word for it, you only need 1 or 2 zucchini plants, not fifteen.  Having no idea what the harvest would be, we carefully tended our plants, which grew like crazy, and before we knew it we were harvesting 15-20 zucchini per day.  I kid you not -- PER DAY.  Well, there's only so much zucchini you can eat, and you quickly discover that there's only so much you can give away.  We hated to see it go to waste, so being enterprising college students, we hit on the idea of leaving boxes of zucchini in the student housing laundry centers (under the cover of dark so no one would know where they were coming from :).  Amazingly, every day the boxes were emptied.  We wondered where all that zucchini could possibly be going, and eventually discovered that the large population of foreign students attending Utah State were mostly vegetarian and were delighted with the free produce that had started magically appearing in the laundry centers!  Talk about a win-win situation!  We never did disclose the source of the zucchini; we were just happy that it was getting eaten.  And we never planted fifteen zucchini plants again.  Anyway, here's a tasty recipe for zucchini, whether you grow your own or not (I found this recipe and the recipes in the next two posts in the Everyday Food Magazine.  It's a great little recipe magazine that I'm having fun cooking through :).

Zucchini with Lemon and Thyme

1-1/2 lbs zucchini (about 3 medium), chopped
4 tsp olive oil

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat.  Add the zucchini and toss to coat in oil.  Season with coarse salt and ground pepper and cook until golden brown in spots, about 4 minutes.  Transfer to serving bowl.  Add:

1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves (or sprinkle on some dried thyme if you don't have any fresh)

Season with additional salt and pepper if you think it needs it.  Serve hot.  4 servings.

If you want another recipe using zucchini, check out the comment on this post from a devoted reader.  Thanks Anna! 

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