Star chef and Top Chef judge Tom Colicchio captures the essence of zucchini by braising it quickly and then tossing it with briny olives.
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 medium zucchini (about 3 1/4 pounds)—halved lengthwise, seeded and cut into 1/3-inch dice
3 lemon thyme sprigs
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup pitted Niçoise olives, chopped
Freshly ground pepper
3/4 pound burrata or buffalo mozzarella, sliced
Thinly sliced squash blossoms, for garnish (optional)
How to Make It
In a very large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Add one-third of the zucchini, 1 lemon thyme sprig, a generous pinch of salt and 1/4 cup of water and cook over moderately high heat, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini is barely tender and the water has evaporated, about 5 minutes; add more water if the zucchini starts to brown. Transfer the zucchini to a baking sheet to cool; discard the thyme sprig. Wipe out the skillet and repeat twice more with the remaining olive oil, lemon thyme, zucchini and salt, adding 1/4 cup of water to each batch.
In a large bowl, toss the cooled zucchini with the grated lemon zest, lemon juice and olives. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a serving platter. Arrange the burrata over the zucchini, garnish with thinly sliced squash blossoms, if using, and serve.
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