Zucchini with Brown Rice

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Inspired by a visit Lisa took to Sicily, this is an easy way to pair zucchini with pasta or rice. Plan on at least a half a pound per person, but feel free to use more. Feel free to use liberal amounts of salt and pepper.

2 lbs. zucchini, chopped
Two tablespoons olive oil
Salt, pepper
8 ounces pasta, such as penne
About a cup of hot pasta water or hot stock
Grated Parmigiano or Grana cheese (optional)

In a large non stick skillet, add a couple tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat and add the zucchini, stirring up to coat evenly with the oil, add more oil if necessary to coat. Add salt and pepper and cook the zucchini for about 20 minutes, lowering heat if too much browning happens. Add in hot pasta or hot rice. If using pasta, add in some hot pasta water to further “melt” the cooked zucchini. If using rice, add in some hot chicken stock. Cook until heated through and the zucchini mostly loses its shape. Add in Parmigiano (if using). Can be served hot or cold.

About katflinn

Kathleen Flinn is the author of "The Sharper Your Knife, the Less You Cry," "The Kitchen Counter Cooking School" and "Burnt Toast Makes You Sing Good." All are published by Viking/Penguin.


  1. Is brown rice healthier for you than white rice? What are the benefits of brown rice and the costs associated with subsituting it for white rice?

    • Kathleen Flinn says:

      Brown rice has more protein and triggers a smaller insulin reaction than white rice, so most nutritionists suggests replacing white rice with brown due to its superior nutritional content. Its also a more complex carbohydrate since it has retained more of the original grain than the white, more processed version.

      A recent study cited that shifting from white rice to brown rice can help cut the onset of Type 2 diabetes. It does take a bit longer to cook, but an inexpensive rice cooker is a worthy investment as it becomes an almost hands-free task.

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