I’m craving Italian food and had a bunch of zucchini on hand and wanted a happy hour snack that was healthier, Lord knows we all feast on chips and dip and need something fresh for that afternoon or early evening hunger with robust flavor. Calling on my Sicilian roots I came up with a relish that I call Sicilian Zucchini & Corn Gusto, my grandma Maria would be proud of this, may she rest in peace, I can see her now looking down on me saying, Mangia your pasta Joseph Anthony.
Memories of Grandmas Cooking
I always admired my grandma in the kitchen when I was a little boy and always tugged on her apron wondering what she was cooking when we would visit her. She had meatballs and sauce simmering on the stove all day, Cioppino or lemon garlic chicken. She would let me taste some sauce with a piece of sourdough before dinner and I called them sauce sandwiches. My grandma was a great cook and I think of her often when I make Italian foods.
My recipe today contains many Mediterranean elements similar to eggplant Caponata, which I love but I wanted to make something different. This recipe has that tomato and sweet & sour tangy flavor that Caponata is known for. This relish turned out amazing and is ready to serve right after making it but it better the next day so it has time for the flavors to get to know one another. When serving it the next day, let it warm up a bit to room temperature, it’s much better if it’s not cold.
Sicilian Zucchini & Corn Gusto
A fresh relish with a blend of fresh veggies with a nice sweet & sour tang and very versatile as an appetizer and so much more…
- 2 cups red onion, chopped (1 medium onion)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3 zucchini, medium or 4 cups, chopped
- 2 cups corn, fresh, frozen or canned
- 3 tbsp sun dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained, chopped
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
- 2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp Italian seasoning
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup canned chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 cup golden raisins
- 2 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
Add the olive oil to a large skillet over medium/high heat; add the onions and garlic and saute for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add the zucchini, corn, sun-dried tomatoes, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, red chili flakes, sugar and Italian seasoning and saute for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
Turn down the heat to medium and add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, golden raisin, capers and slivered almonds and saute for 8 minutes more, stirring well to break up the tomato paste and make sure everything is mixed in well, you don't want the mixture to become mushy so don't over cook, the zucchini should be just done and tender
Take off heat and let cool to room temperature and serve with toasted baguette slices, pita chips or crackers
I really like this "relish" best served the next day allowing the flavors to meld overnight.
Makes 6 cups, serves 12 as an appetizer
I love Country Living Magazine and they have an article on 55 Easy Dip Recipes That Your Party Guests Will Devour in No Time….now that’s dip crazy!