Thursday, 20 February 2014

Zarangollo - Courgettes (Zucchini) slowly cooked with Onions and Oregano, and optional Eggs

Immensely popular in Spain, you'll find it served at many a tapas bar as an appetiser. It's delightful with eggs stirred in at the end, to lightly scramble them and make it into a dish in itself, or without the eggs as a side dish to accompany other dishes, or as part of a selection of tapa (with or without eggs).


Serves two as tapas (or a light accompaniment to a fish dish without the eggs), or one as something light to eat. Easily doubled.

With eggs (recommended): 168 calories per serving between two as a tapas dish (335 calories as a light dish for one).

Without eggs (more of a side dish than a meal): 80 calories per serving between two (159 calories as a very light dish for one).

If you're not counting calories, feel free to slosh in some extra olive oil at the beginning of cooking, for a more luxurious dish.

350g courgettes (about three small to medium), cut into thin slices, about 1.5mm thick (a mandolin or the slicing attachment on a food processor is easiest for this, or you could do it by hand) [63]
1 medium onion (100g), quartered then thinly sliced [41]
1 tsp olive oil [45]
Salt and freshly ground black pepper (about 1/3 teaspoon of each) [1]
1 fat garlic clove, crushed [6]
½ level teaspoon dried oregano (or 1 tsp fresh, chopped) [2]
2 medium free-range eggs, beaten with a pinch of salt - optional [176]
1 tsp chopped flat-leaf parsley to garnish

Take a non-stick, heavy-based pan (with a well-fitting lid) and put on low heat on the hob. Add the olive oil and gently sauté the onions (uncovered) for 10 minutes until softened. Add the courgettes, with the salt, toss (or stir) to combine and then cook, covered, over a very low heat for 15 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add the pepper, oregano and crushed garlic to the semi-cooked courgettes and toss/stir to incorporate. Cover again, and cook for a further 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally until tender.

At this point, you can either serve as it is (or chill or freeze some, if you’ve made a larger quantity, for another time), sprinkled with the parsley, or add the eggs, stirring gently, until they are *just* cooked to a creamy consistency and serve immediately, in a warmed dish, garnished with the chopped parsley.


Although it may seem like you have an awful lot of courgettes for one person, to start with, the long cooking time and high water content means they will lose a considerable amount of volume during cooking and you will be surprised at how little you are left with, so don't be shy!

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