Southwestern Style Zucchini

© 2012
© 2012

It has been a while (Thanksgiving, actually) since I have posted a veggie side dish. I need to rectify that because sometimes it’s the sides that make the meal absolutely delicious. It’s the sides that tie the meal together. Also, in many instances, what to serve as the sides is the hardest thing to figure out.

This is a pretty simple side dish that goes well with a lot of dishes. Many people looking at this may think this is simply calabacitas, a Mexican squash dish. It is and it’s not. Calabacitas literally translates to little squash. In culinary practice, it refers to a variety of summer squashes with thin, edible skins, including zucchini, yellow crookneck, Mexican straight-neck and sunburst squashes. Calabacitas also refers to a classic dish claimed by New Mexicans but dating back to Mexico consisting of a mélange of the squashes, often in combination with cheese (typically queso fresco) and other summer vegetables, like corn, tomatoes and green chile. While similar to calabacitas this dish does not have tomatoes, yellow squash or queso fresco. I also didn’t roast the chiles because I wanted that fresh bite of jalapeno instead of the round, roasted earthiness you get from the roasted chiles. Your tastes may differ and, if so, use roasted chiles instead. If you like, add the tomatoes as they do add a nice touch but it makes the dish a little watery from the juice in the tomato.

You can serve this side dish with roast chicken, steak, roasted pork, barbecue, even eggs, not to mention Mexican food of all varieties. You can even serve this with tortillas for a vegetarian taco, if that’s your thing. It really is that versatile. It’s also that good. We like it as a side dish and made it for dinner one night when I was playing with the sous vide technique cooking some chicken breasts with Mojo de Ajo (garlic salsa). If you haven’t tried mojo de ajo, you need to do so. If you do, this is a great side dish to go with it. It truly brought the whole meal together. We hope you give this a try.


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cups zucchini, 1/4 inch dice
  • 1/2 cup white onion, diced
  • 1 cup corn, removed from cobb
  • 1/3 cup jalapeños, seeded and sliced
  • 1 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
© 2012
© 2012


Pour oil into a skillet over medium heat and add onions.

© 2012
© 2012

Now add jalapeños

© 2012
© 2012

Sauté until onions become translucent, roughly 3 minutes. Now add the seasonings and garlic

© 2012
© 2012

Sauté and additional 1 – 2 minutes and add zucchini

© 2012
© 2012

Sauté until zucchini becomes tender, roughly 4 minutes, and add the corn.

© 2012
© 2012

Sauté an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Serve & enjoy!

© 2012
© 2012

14 thoughts on “Southwestern Style Zucchini”

      1. Richard, I miss the food a lot. But I could never move back because of the heat…way to hot for me now that I have gotten to experience New England summers. 🙂

        1. It does get awfully hot. The problem with me is New England winters are way too cold. Given the choice between hot & cold, I prefer the hot. I keep looking for a tropical island where I can move my house, foundation and all. 😮 Until then, it’s Texas for me. 😀

  1. I would make this recipe, Richard, just to enjoy corn and zucchini together. What a great combo, made all the better by your Southwestern-style ingredients — even the jalapeño! 😉

    1. Thanks, John. The zucchini-corn combo is so wonderful. All you really need is salt and pepper. Anything else is the proverbial icing on the cake. 🙂 How do the Bartolinis pair the two? I’m sure it is delightful and would love to know. Perhaps an upcoming post??

  2. This is perfect. I was just telling a friend that I wanted to try out some new vegetable dishes! She gave me one for spicy baked broccoli, but I’m going to try this one too 🙂

Food for thoughts

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s