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Zucchini in Cuban Style Cherry Tomato Sofrito

Makes 4 servings
Hands-On Time: 30 minutes
Total Preparation Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Suggested Accompaniments
Rice or shredded Napa cabbage seasoned with just a bit of olive oil and salt.

Ingredients
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3-4 garlic cloves, mashed with mortar and pestle or finely chopped
1 medium yellow onion, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 pound cherry tomatoes coarsely chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne
Pinch of allspice
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 pounds zucchini, cut into ½-inch cubes
12 toasted almonds
1/4 cup roasted cacao nibs (available in Whole Foods and specialty stores) or 2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped
1 or 2 whole garlic cloves
1/4 cup flat parsley leaves
1 cup warm water or chicken broth
1 serrano chile, finely chopped
4 squash blossoms, coarsely chopped (optional)
Sea salt to finish

Directions
Place the oil in a 12-inch skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the mashed garlic and sauté for 10 seconds. Add the onion and sauté for 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and sauté, stirring, for 3 minutes with the cumin, oregano, cayenne, allspice, and salt. Add the zucchini and cook for 2 minutes. While the vegetables cook, place the almonds, cacao, garlic, and parsley in a mortar and crush together to make a coarse paste. Stir into the skillet. Add the water or broth and the chile and stir to mix. Cook, covered, for 5 minutes over medium heat. Stir in the optional blossoms and taste for seasoning and, if you wish, season with additional sea salt and hot pepper. Serve hot. Serve with rice or over shredded Napa cabbage seasoned with just a bit of olive oil and salt.

Copyright @Maricel E. Presilla

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