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Zucchini with Garlic and Olive Oil (Calabacines al Ajillo)
Spanish gambas al ajillo—shrimp cooked with generous amounts of garlic and olive oil—is a popular tapa, but the “al ajillo” technique isn’t strictly for shrimp. It can be employed with a number of different ingredients, including vegetables. Here we use zucchini to make calabacines al ajillo, also a Spanish classic (and for fans of fungi, we include a mushroom version, below). Cut into spears, quickly cooked, then left to stand for a few minutes before serving, the summer squash soaks up the heady notes of toasted garlic and the fruity, peppery olive oil. Serve with lots of warm, crusty bread for dipping into the oil or as a side to seared or grilled white fish. This dish is great served warm or even at room temperature.
medium zucchini (about 2 pounds total)