A Vegetarian in Chile: Part 3 Guizo de Zapallo Italiano

I am obsessed with food waste. To the point of ridiculousness. I am that person that cuts off the mouldy part at the expense of my health because I would rather increase my risk of cancer and damage to my liver, kidneys and immune system than throw that floppy fennel in the bin. Because I buy my fruit and veg in bulk, I’m often faced with a fridge half full of veggies on the brink of going off. Most of the time I manage to use them up in some burst of creative, albeit not always wonderful, piece of cookery. However there is one vegetable with which I always seem to draw a blank:

Zucchini

Did you know that zucchini can grow up to 1 metre long?

Did you know that zucchini can grow up to 1 metre long?

I don’t know why but I am somewhat uninspired by zucchini recipes. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve got nothing against the vegetable, in fact I find the texture of a nicely steamed zucchini rather pleasant. I just can’t get passed the sensation of boredom that overcomes me when faced with yet another recipe for zucchini pasta sauce or chargrilled veggies. Do you have this problem? Or am I just weird? Anyway, short story long, thanks to my wonderful Chilean colleagues who never fail to cook up a feast when we are working in the field, I have found a great way to utilise those sorry squashes going soggy at the back of the veggie crisper.

Enter: Guizo de Zapallo Italiano (Zucchini Stew – Chilean Style!)P1060223

This a great recipe because the guizo itself is relatively easy to make, with little prep time, and can be served with a simple rice. To spice things up a bit, we prepared some Chilean style rice and fried potatoes as accompaniments (shown below).

Ingredients

For the sides

  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • Small amount of carrot (2 tbs or so), grated or finely chopped
  • 8 small potatoes, washed, with skin
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • Salt
  • Merquén

For the guizo

  • 1.5kg zucchini, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • Half a brown onion, finely sliced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • A handful of green capsicum, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Tsp vegetable stock powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to serve (optional)

Method

For the sides

If you are making the Chilean style rice and potatoes, start these off first.

Boil potatoes until just cooked. Place in cold water until cool enough to handle, then peel off skin. Sautee garlic and carrot in oil in a small or medium saucepan until garlic is cooked. Add rice and a generous pinch of salt and stir to fully coat the rice in oil. Add boiling water until it is about 1 cm above the top of the rice. Cover and cook over low heat, without stirring, until all the water is absorbed.

For the guizo

Sautee onion, garlic, capsicum and carrot in oil in a large pot until onion is translucent. Add zucchini and stock powder and cook over low heat with the lid off. Don’t add more water as the zucchini releases a lot. Meanwhile, cut the peeled potatoes into bite-sized cubes. Fry in a small amount of butter and oil until crispy on the outside. Sprinkle with merquén and salt to taste. When zucchini is quite soft, add eggs one at a time, stirring through guizo between additions. Cook for a further minute to allow egg to cook and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve with the potatoes and rice and sprinkle with parmesan cheese if desired.P1060226

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