2 pounds zucchini (6 to 8 zucchini, 8 inches long)

½ teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons butter

2 cups sliced onions


1.  Scrub the zucchini under cold running water; Shave off the two ends but do not peel.  Using the large holes of a grater, grate the zucchini and toss with salt in a colander.  Let it steep for a few minutes, then twist by handfuls in the corner of a clean dish towel to extract excess liquid — you will be surprised at the amount.

2.  While the zucchini macerates, heat the butter to foaming in a frying pan, toss in the onions, and saute for 8 to 10 minutes, until tender and translucent but not browned.  Then stir in the zucchini.  Toss over moderately high heat several minutes, just until tender.  Serve as is, or proceed with one of the variations listed below.

NOTE:  Zucchini cooked this way is best when served at once.  But you can grate and squeeze it out well in advance.

WITH CREAM: Saute the grated and squeezed zucchini until almost tender.  A few minutes before serving, fold in ½ cup or so heavy cream, and simmer several minutes, until the cream has thickened and is almost absorbed.  Fold in a little chopped fresh parsley or tarragon, and serve.

GRATIN, WITH CHEESE:  Turn the creamed zucchini into a shallow baking and serving dish, and sprinkle 3 to 4 tablespoons of grated Swiss cheese over the surface.  Several minutes before serving, set 3 to 4 inches under a hot broiler element to warm through and brown the top lightly.

from Julia Child, The Way to Cook

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