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Sautéed Zucchini With Cheese

A lively, crunchy zucchini dish with Mexican pesto

En español | Ditch the same old sautéed zucchini (calabacitas is Spanish for "little squash") for this lively dish that takes full advantage of my funky Mexican pesto, with its whack of cilantro and touch of spice. Make sure the zucchini retains a little of its crunchy texture, and you're a happy camper.

Serves 4


  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
  • 1 pound zucchini, cut into large dice
  • 1 large tomato, cored, seeded and diced
  • 1 scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon cilantro-cotija pesto
  • 1/2 cup crumbled queso blanco or lightly salty feta
  • Freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

See also: Mexican food is a family affair.


  1. Put the olive oil and garlic in a large skillet, and set it over medium heat. Once the garlic begins to sizzle, cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini has softened slightly, about 3 minutes. Add tomato and scallion, and cook until tomato begins to break down, about 5 minutes.

  2. Take the skillet off the heat, and stir in the pesto and queso blanco until the cheese starts to melt. Season with lime juice, salt and pepper to taste, and serve.

Copyright © 2011 by Plácido, Inc. from Simple Food, Big Flavor, published by Atria Books, a Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

You may also like: Dry soup (pilaf-style fidellini) by Aarón Sánchez's mother, Zarela.

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