Zucchini Trifolati with cherry tomatoes and basil

August 6, 2008


Talk about a taste of summer. This is a really fantastic little recipe from Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray owners/chefs of the amazing London River Cafe. I have one of their cookbooks – “Italian Two Easy”, and it is brilliant. Effortlessly simple, but just striking food that you will honestly remember for years. Much like their restaurant!

So this was a quick lunch today. I am working from home, to spend a little more time with the family, and decided I would do this recipe again. For the last couple of summers we would have this at least once every two weeks – when tomatoes and zucchini’s are great.

Like everything from the book, it is simple. Really really simple. That means of course that the best ingredients are called for. If you only have 5 ingredients in a dish, you had better make sure they are bloody good!

So the idea is really simple. Cut up a zucchini, sauté it over a high heat with some garlic, chuck in some lovely cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cook for a bit, bung in some fresh basil and some really good olive oil – and let it sit. After 10 minutes you have lunch. Awesome, awesome stuff.

I had this with some pan seared sea scallops, but it would also go great with some grilled meat and fish.

Happy summer days!!


Zucchini Trifolati with cherry tomatoes and basil (adapted from “Italian Two Easy, by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray)

2 zucchini’s – about 1lb worth

10oz of cherry tomatoes

2 garlic cloves

small handful of fresh chopped basil

Really good extra virgin olive oil

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Cut each piece into small chunks – about 1/2” thick. Squeeze the tomatoes to let out some of their juice. Discard the juice, and keep the tomatoes. Peel and slice the garlic cloves.

In a large saute pan over a high heat, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is hot, toss in the zucchini. When this just starts to brown toss in the garlic. When the zucchini is browned nicely, add in the cherry tomatoes, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Let this cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Mix in the basil, and pour over a little of the really good olive oil. Cover, and let stand for 10 minutes off the heat before eating.

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  • MPG August 7, 2008 at 1:18 am

    Simple, beautiful and delicious! I might make something like this for a side tonight 🙂 Happy Summer Days!

  • Olga August 7, 2008 at 2:55 am

    That looks really good. And I love how your pan is not perfectly clean!

  • Dawn August 7, 2008 at 4:24 am

    I will have to try this. I have zucchini coming out my ears now from my CSA. I’m a little tired of grilled zucchini and zucchini bread. 🙂

  • cindy August 7, 2008 at 5:17 am

    beautiful colors! i will have to try this as we eat zucchini at least three times a week at our house. good stuff 🙂

  • Brittany August 7, 2008 at 5:52 am

    This will be dinner tomorrow tossed with a handful of orzo (that addition is hubby’s idea- a carbless/meatless dinner is not okay with him for some reason). We and I are both salivating.

  • Kate August 7, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    Hey, my first time at your site, am taken aback with all the wonderful colours in your trifolati. Simply beautiful.

  • mattwright August 7, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Olga – I defy anyone with a gas stove to cook this and keep the pan clean!

    Brittany – tell him to get his arse out to the BBQ and grill some lamb.. it would go great with this.

    Kate – Thanks! I really love the photography on your site – I could learn a lot from you!

  • Y August 7, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    Matt, what a beautiful photo! I love those rich colours 🙂

  • Brittany August 8, 2008 at 2:45 am

    Just doing the dishes from this- it was a nice light meal in this heat! Orzo- this stuff- and a few shaves of parm reg (and a bottle of vin suave) YUM.

    I would have LOVED grilled lamb, but we live on the top floor of an apartment where it’s illegal to grill. : (

    We love our apartment (and it’s view) to bits, otherwise we’d of been long gone by now for that reason alone.

  • White On Rice Couple August 8, 2008 at 5:28 am

    Ahhh, the beauty of a scorched stainless steel pan. It’s really lovely to see a pan to good use with such a visually and tasty dish like yours.
    But I bet that pan was a BIOTCH to clean! I don’t even try to keep our stainless steel shiny, the scorch adds character and shows that they actually get used!
    When I walk into a friends $$$$$ kitchen that is totally decked out with a $$$$$ set of stainless steel hanging from the racks, I just wanna bop him on the head with one and say…”cook with it you yuppie fool!”.

  • matt wright August 8, 2008 at 4:15 pm

    Brittany – A lack of BBQ sucks 🙁 I will have to try this with some orzo in – what a good idea.

    WoRC: I completely hear yah. I too have walked into too many home kitchens with the rediculous 64″ viking range (for a family of 4), 20 al clad pans hanging up that have never been used, and a fridge full of take out boxes.

  • Deborah August 8, 2008 at 4:29 pm

    A great way to use up some of the summer produce!!

  • Teri Lyn Fisher August 8, 2008 at 8:19 pm

    These colors are amazing!!!! It looks soooo yummy!!!!

  • Jerry August 8, 2008 at 10:02 pm

    Perfect garden food!

  • Heather August 10, 2008 at 6:11 am

    I want to eat that in a succotash, with some fresh lima beans and corn. Scallops will do nicely, too, yes.

    I’m on the cusp of a metric tonne of yellow pear tomatoes, and this is one way in which I’ll dispose of a few.

  • Helen August 11, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Oh how gorgeous. I love Ruth and Rose’s food, the simplicity is wonderful, celebrating those summer ingredients.

  • Shannon August 14, 2008 at 5:35 pm

    YUM. I read this the other day and when I was at the farmer’s market last night I decided to pick up the items to make this. In addition, I also picked up three ears of corn, which I cut from the cob and cooked with everything else. Soo good. Thanks for sharing!

  • mycookinghut August 15, 2008 at 7:36 pm

    I love your first shot. Great lighting, composition and colours! Well done!!

  • Rhi September 1, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    This looks so amazingly fresh – I can almost imagine the cherry tomatoes bursting when I bite them! Yummo!

  • Sheryl September 12, 2009 at 10:52 pm

    I made this tonight and used it as a topping on whole wheat macaroni. It was fantastic! I’m going to blog it and link to you. Thanks!

  • Devika November 9, 2009 at 7:47 am

    So simple to prepare, and delicious! Perfect spring/summer vegie dish.