if you collect cookbooks the way other people collect coffee table books and late night reads, you’re no doubt already familiar with Molly Baz. The former Bon Appétit food editor and best-selling author has just released her latest, More Is More – Get Loose In the Kitchen and if the recipe doesn’t convince you that it’s a must-have, we’ll let Molly’s Instagram book launch do the talking.
Here’s Molly with all the fried sunflower seeds, glugs of olive oil, and fresh torn mint we’ve come to appreciate her recipes for…
I’ve done a lot of hating on zucchini in my day, but I’m capable of personal growth, and I’ve come around, okay? You’ve heard the rant: it’s a watery, bland, flavorless bore-snore. Here’s the thing: if you know how to treat it right, zucchini is a sponge for flavor. If you don’t, it’s blah-dee-blah. In this recipe, you’ll use zucchini (or summer squash!) in two ways: raw and pan-seared. As the zucch sits in a vibrant, garlicky, tangy, minty marinade, allll that flavor is absorbed into its flesh. The fried sunflower seeds on top add a necessary salty crunch.
Molly Baz Marinated Zucch + Mozz With Fried Sunflower Seeds
3 pounds zucchini or summer squash (3 or 4 medium)
1 garlic clove
1 bunch of mint
6 oz fresh whole-milk mozzarella cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¼ cup white wine vinegar
5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
A pinch of sugar
3 tbsp raw sunflower seeds, pepitas, or sesame seeds
1. Slice ½ medium zucchini crosswise as thinly as possible. Place in a large bowl. Cut all the remaining zucchini (including the other half of the sliced zucchini) in half lengthwise. Using the tip of a sharp knife, score the zucchini flesh in a crosshatch pattern. Season all over with salt.
2. Tear 6 ounces mozzarella cheese into bite-size pieces.
3. To the bowl of sliced zucchini, add ¼ cup white wine vinegar, 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 finely grated garlic clove, a pinch of sugar, a big pinch of salt, and some freshly ground black pepper.
4. Firmly whack about half of the bunch of mint against your cutting board to release some of its essential oil. Add the whacked mint (stems and all) to the marinating zucchini and stir well to combine—the mint will flavor the marinade as it sits. Add the torn mozzarella and let marinate.
5. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat a few big glugs of olive oil over medium-high heat until smoking. Pat the zucchini halves dry (they will have expelled some liquid by now) and arrange in the skillet, cut-side down. If it doesn’t all fit, work in 2 batches. Cook, undisturbed, until well caramelized on the cut side, 5 to 6 minutes. Flip and continue to cook until lightly browned, 2 minutes longer. Transfer to a cutting board to cool.
6. Reduce the heat to medium-low. If there’s no oil remaining in the skillet, add another glug, along with
3 tbsp sunflower seeds, and cook, constantly stirring, until well toasted, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Season with salt and transfer the seeds to a plate to cool.
7. Once the cooked zucch are cool enough to handle, tear or cut them into large pieces, adding them to the marinated sliced zucchini, along with allll the rest of what remains of your bunch of mint. Thou shalt not waste herbs (page 22). Toss well, taste, and adjust the seasoning, then transfer to a serving platter. Top with the sunflower seeds and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.
More Is More Copyright © 2023 by Molly Baz. Photographs copyright © 2023 by PEDEN + MUNK. Illustrations Copyright © 2023 Claire McCracken. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Random House.