Romanesco Zucchini

Illustrations by John BurgoynePhoto: Hannah Whitaker

No ordinary summer squash, this heirloom variety is characterized by its distinctive ribs and, for a zucchini, its comparative pandalike unwillingness to be fruitful and multiply. What it lacks in productivity, however, it makes up for in a sweeter flavor and a firmer, less watery texture that doesn’t cook up mushy. It even stands in for corned beef in this hash recipe from Savoy’s Ryan Tate.

Savoy’s Zucchini Hash

1/4 cup salted anchovies, boned and rinsed
1/4 cup garlic, minced
1/4 cup salt-packed capers, rinsed
1/4 cup oil-cured olives
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

3 small or 2 medium Romanesco zucchinis (available at Yuno’s farm stand at the Greenmarket)
1 large red bell pepper
1 medium onion
1 tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbs. basil, chopped
4 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

For the bagna cauda: Preheat oven to 200 degrees. (1) Place the anchovies, garlic, capers, and olives in mortar and pestle, and mash to a smooth paste. In a sauce pot, combine paste, butter, and olive oil, and place in oven for at least 2 hours. Keep warm until ready to serve, and save remainder for future use, such as an accompaniment to roast lamb or a dip for crudites. For the hash: (2) Dice the zucchini, pepper, and onion. In a large cast-iron skillet over medium heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and pepper, and cook until onion becomes golden brown and tender. Add zucchini, and cook until lightly browned and al dente. Season with salt and pepper. Toss with basil and transfer to plates. (3) Serve hash topped with sunny-side-up eggs, each drizzled with a spoonful of bagna cauda. Serves 4.

Romanesco Zucchini