Franny’s Stewed Zucchini with Mint, Olives and Tomatoes

Kris and Tom brought this recipe for Franny’s Stewed Zucchini to an impromptu supper at Oratamin a few weeks back, and I’ve been dying to make it ever since. I found myself with a few of those extra-large zucchini in the garden, and decided to make a double batch for the Labor Day pot luck barbecue. A good idea. It was delicious.

Start by chopping and sauteing the zucchini.




The add garlic, parsley, oregano (I used thyme), tomatoes and olives!lj090114zucchini03


Stew for an hour:



Stewed Zucchini with Mint

Serving Size: Serves 4 to 6.

Stewed Zucchini with Mint

This is the recipe to make when you walk out to your zucchini plant and find a bunch of enormous zucchini have appeared on it overnight. Stewing brings out the flavor that can be lacking in those oversized fruits. From the Franny's cookbook.


  • 2 pounds green or yellow zucchini, trimmed
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt, plus a large pinch
  • About 7 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped oregano
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1 1/2 cups basic tomato sauce (recipe follows)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped pitted Calabrese olives (or substitute Kalamata)
  • 10 mint leaves, roughly torn, plus additional torn leaves for garnish


  1. Slice the zucchini into 3/4-inch thick lengths.
  2. Transfer to a colander set over a bowl and toss with the 1 tablespoon salt. Let stand for 20 mintues.
  3. Preheat the oven to 325. Pat the zucchini very dry with paper towels.
  4. In a large Dutch oven, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of the olive oil over high heat. Add a third of the zucchini and cook, without moving it much, untll golden, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate. Repeat with the remaining zucchini in 2 batches, using about 1 1/2 tablespoons more oil per batch.
  5. Reduce the heat to medium low and add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil. Stir in the parsley, oregano, garlic and chili and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  6. Increase the heat to medium. Stir in the tomato sauce and olives. Cook the sauce until it breaks and begins to release its oil, 2 to 3 minutes.
  7. Return the zucchini to the pot and season with a large pinch of salt. Cover the pot and bake in the oven for 1 hour.
  8. Stir the mint leaves into the zucchini and serve topped with additonal mint.

Franny's Basic Tomato Sauce

Serving Size: Makes 2 cups.


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • One (28-ounce) can San Marzano or other good-quality plum tomatoes


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic, salt and a few grinds of pepper and cook, covered, until the vegetables are very soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Pour in the tomatoes and their liquid, bring to a simmer and simmer until the sauce thickens and the oil separates and rises to the surface, about 25 minutes.
  3. Run the sauce through a food mill fitted with the large disk for puree (or puree in a food processor). Season with additional salt and pepper as needed. The sauce will keep, in an airtight container, in the refrigerator for 1 week or the freezer for 3 months.

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