Summer Vegetable Side Dish – Zucchini, Corn, and Sweet Peppers

by Sally on August 19, 2012 · 4 comments

in Gluten-free, Side Dishes, The Daniel Plan, Vegan Dishes, Vegetables, Vegetarian Dishes

When clients asked for this dish three times in one week, I knew I had to post it for you. It’s a quick and healthy mixed vegetable sauté that makes the most of summer zucchini, corn and sweet peppers. This side dish takes the saying “eat your colors” to a new level. It’s appetizing for the eye and tastes great. 

I’ve been cooking for professional athletes this summer. For these guys in particular, food is really fuel. They train hard and eat like crazy. I’m continually working to keep side dishes interesting as well as healthy. This combination of zucchini, sweet corn and sweet bell peppers really hit the spot for them. They could not get enough of it. No matter how much I cooked, they ate it all.

Prep Your Vegetables: Knife Skills Practice

For the zucchini, I like to use the baby version when its available, but regular zucchini works fine. For the baby zucchini, trim off the stem and cut on the diagonal. For regular size zucchini, quarter the squash lengthwise, trim out the seedy centers and cut on the diagonal into about 1/2″ wide (1 1/2 cm) pieces.

How To Cut Up a Bell Pepper

If cutting up round vegetables like bell peppers is a challenge, here is an easy way to handle them. Cut off the top and bottom. Stand the pepper up and cut a slice through the side to open it up. Remove the large seed core.

Lay the pepper flat and holding your knife parallel to  the cutting board, trim out the ribs and seeds that are left. From here, cut the pepper into long thin slices. Lay them together, then cut across creating a perfect dice.

How to Remove From the Cob

For the corn, remove the husk and silk, then drop into boiling salted water for three minutes. Remove the corn and drain on a kitchen towel. With a sharp knife, cut the cob in half to make it more manageable. Stand the cob on end, then cut the kernels from the cob into strips and set aside.

All of the vegetables get a quick sauté with a little olive oil, some chopped shallot and garlic, then combined. Fresh herbs make s nice finish but are optional.

If you have a hard time getting your family to eat vegetables, try vegetable mixes. The combination of colors and flavors make them a lot more interesting as well as healthy.

Summer Vegetable Side Dish – Zucchini, Corn, and Sweet Peppers

This easy vegetable side dish takes the saying “eat your colors” to a new level, with zucchini, corn and sweet red peppers. Add chopped fresh herbs if desired. Another nice touch if you like smoky flavors – try smoked black pepper or smoked sea salt. Serve with roast chicken, steak, pork or tossed with pasta or quinoa for a vegetarian/vegan option.

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 large ears of fresh organic corn, husked and silk removed
  • 1 pound of zucchini (I like baby zucchini, but regular works fine)
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, chopped fine (minced)
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped fine (minced)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh chopped herbs such as parsley, oregano or tarragon, optional
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the water boils, drop corn cobs in and boil for 3 minutes. Remove corn and drain on a kitchen towel. When corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels from the cobs in long strips and set aside.
  2. While you are waiting for the corn to cook, prep your zucchini and peppers. For the zucchini, trim off the ends, then cut into approximately 1/2″ ( 1 1/2 cm) slices on the diagonal. If using baby zucchini, cut them whole. If using regular sized zucchini, cut into long quarters, cut out the seedy centers if desired, then cut into pieces on the diagonal. For the bell peppers, cut off the tops and bottoms, cut out the seeds and membranes, slice into long thins strips, then cut into small dice. Follow the photos in the post for help.
  3. Heat olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. When oil shimmers, add the shallot and cook until soft, about 1 minute. Add the zucchini and cook for a few minutes, then add the garlic and bell peppers, stirring to combine. Continue to cook the vegetables until they are softened and browning. How long will depend on how crisp you like your vegetables. Towards the end, add the corn and heat through for a minute. Add any chopped fresh herbs if desired, salt adn pepper, and serve hot.

Helpful Links:

A new knife I’ve been enjoying, from New West KnifeWorks. The 9″ Chef Phoenix Carbon 52100 blade is wicked sharp. It’s limited production so check it out now. Beautiful knife and perfect size.

To complete you dinner, roast chicken works great. Recipes here for whole roast chicken or roast bone-in chicken breasts

For another side, try roasted red potatoes or mashed potatoes.

Those cute little mini pots are called cocottes, from Le Creuset, available on Amazon in many colors. So fun to serve side dishes and individual portions in.

Nice article from the LA TImes and Russ Parsons on summer squash. Check it out for more zucchini ideas.

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Margaret Rizzuto August 20, 2012 at 8:42 am

Looks great – I’ll be giving this a go. I like the step by step images too!

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2 Madonna August 20, 2012 at 4:45 pm

This is a beautiful dish. I am getting rather snobby if a dish is just chunked up. I want a nice dice on my veg. Great dishes for presentation. I think this would be delicious with your fish you made awhile back. Cooking for athletes, what a great job.

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3 Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen August 22, 2012 at 8:25 am

I read your comment about Pinterest on Will Write for Food and clicked over to see your site. No wonder you are successful on Pinterest, your photos are fabulous. I’m following all of your boards now and liked you on FB. You are very inspiring.

This zucchini corn & pepper saute sounds wonderful and a great way to eat your vegetables.
Sam

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4 Shut Up & Cook August 23, 2012 at 8:51 pm

Everything really is better in a darling little pot!

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