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Tuscan Zucchini with Tomatoes, Garlic & Mint

Tuscan Zucchini with Tomatoes, Garlic and Mint - A simple and easy dish to prepare with fresh, fantastic flavors.

I have to say – I love authentic Italian cuisine because of the way that simple, fresh ingredients are combined together into one fantastic dish!   And this Tuscan Zucchini with Tomatoes, Garlic & Mint is a perfect example of that cooking approach.

Ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen – fresh zucchini, garlic, canned tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil – are all combined together.

But one ingredient – fresh mint leaves – totally transforms this simple vegetable side dish into something different and completely delicious! First the mint is added to the garlic and oil as it sautés in a pan. And an additional sprinkle of fresh mint is also added to the top as this dish is served.

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Tuscan Zucchini with Tomatoes, Garlic and Mint - A simple and easy dish to prepare with fresh, fantastic flavors.

The mint ads a subtle distinctive flavor that is perfect with the acidity of the tomatoes and it totally makes this dish! (We use mint in our popular Italian Tomato Sauce recipe as well – and it too is an incredible recipe!)  This Tuscan Zucchini with Tomatoes, Garlic & Mint cooks up in minutes, and it is a perfect way to enjoy fresh garden zucchini.

This recipe was inspired by one we brought home from our honeymoon in Italy. Interestingly enough – that recipe used catnip which also has a unique minty flavor and is used in many Tuscan recipes. Because catnip isn’t as readily available as a culinary herb here in the United States, we used mint instead. (But if you happen to grow fresh catnip in your herb garden – give it a try! It’s delicious!)

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Tuscan Zucchini with Tomatoes, Garlic & Mint


  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 medium to large cloves of garlic sliced thin (1½ ounces to be exact)
  • 12 good sized fresh mint leaves left whole, plus some chopped for garnish
  • 3 medium zucchini, ends trimmed and quartered lengthwise, about one pound
  • 1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • Few grinds black pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large COLD sauté pan, place oil, garlic and fresh mint. Turn burner to medium low and cook slowly until garlic floats and is just slightly starting to turn brown. Keep heat low and don’t overcook.
  2. With a slotted spoon, remove garlic and mint to a small bowl.
  3. Turn heat to medium and place all of the zucchini quarters in on one cut side. After about four minutes turn and cook on the other cut side for about four more minutes. The zucchini should be lightly browned and not fully cooked.
  4. Add the tomatoes with juice, salt, pepper and reserved garlic and mint.
  5. Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the sauce thickens and the zucchini is tender.
  6. Serve in a platter with additional chopped fresh mint over top.

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  1. I love Italian food for the same reasons as you….plus it allows me to pass myself off as a better cook than I really am =) Now I do grow fresh catnip in my herb garden, but there are several varieties. Which is the right one if I wanted to try it? Is it the same one my cat likes? Am I sounding ridiculous here? Help! I have tons of mint too, so I can use that as well.

    • Great question Laura! Let me reach out to our cooking instructor from our trip to Italy and ask if there is a certain kind that is better for cooking! They didn’t specify during our trip but I will ask and get back to you ASAP! Thanks for your question!

    • Hi Laura – My apologies for taking so long to respond. So – it sounds like all varieties of catnip are edible and can be used as an herb for cooking. I haven’t experimented with it much myself (although now I want to grow some in our garden!) so unfortunately, I can’t specifically recommend which variety would taste better than another in this recipe. If you do try it – please let us know how you like it! Thanks and again, my apologies for the delay! Martha

  2. I love Italian cuisine for the same reason! This looks heavenly!

  3. This will be perfect once our zucchini start arriving…fingers crossed 🙂

  4. What a beautiful summer recipe! Mint isn’t something I cook with often – I just never think about it – but this inspired me to try using it more.

  5. Truly a beautiful fresh dish. I love real Italian food too. Thanks!

  6. I just love the freshness and flavors in this dish. The mint is a nice addition.

  7. This is one delicious looking summertime dish! It’s such a great use for zucchini and tomatoes. Especially since those two vegetables always seem to grow like crazy!

  8. julie kalashnikoff :

    really tasty. I added a small white onion (cubed) I also added a pinch of chili flakes and a sprinkle of capers. I used fresh field tomatoes (large dice) as they are in season

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