zucchini coulis

raji cuisine, by raji jallepalli is one of the most influential cookbooks in my treasure of books. partially because it taught me how creative and interesting it is to blend the flavors of two types of cuisine, in this case indian and french, but more importantly because in this book i discovered the significance of adding refined sauces to my dishes. like icing on a cake, the sauce that adorns a dish can elevate the modest to the rich, the basic to the beautiful, the simple to the ornate. and although i value an unpretentious plate of food, maybe linguine with some shaved parmesan, i also appreciate a complex and decorated entree presentation. like the difference between listening to an a-ccapella soprano and an aria accompanied by a full orchestra.
     this velvety, slightly spicy coulis from raji cuisine, is an established darling at my table. i use it on chicken, as a dip for shrimp skewers, and as the sauce for white fish wrapped in a homemade tortilla. just after i have blended it, i can never hold back the desire to taste this sauce with a spoon.

• 1 tbl. peanut oil
• 2 med. zucchini, trimmed and chopped
• 1/2 jalapeno chile stemmed, seeded, minced
• 1/4 tsp. thyme
• coarse salt

1. heat the oil in a med. saute pan over med. add the zucchini, jalapeno, garlic, thyme and saute for about 4 minutes, or untill the zucchini is slightly soft but remains bright green.
2. put the mixture into a narrow glass or stainless pitcher and puree it with a stick blender.
3. taste it and adjust for seasoning with salt.
note: the original recipe calls for ajowan which is hard to find. chef raji suggests substituting thyme instead.

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