Zucchini Trifolati

It is that time of year again when I start to get emails from folks asking for help using up their abundant zucchini harvest. Although I will not have a vegetable garden at my new house until next year since they are still working on the landscaping, I remember too well what it is like to be picking baskets full of zucchini on a daily basis.

This zucchini dish is one that you will see across Italy as it is a simple method for cooking zucchini to enjoy as a side dish. Trifolati is basically just a method of preparing vegetables with garlic, olive oil, and parsley until they are soft and thoroughly cooked. I like to use mint in place of the parsley and add a pinch of red chili flakes as well.

I serve this side dish all summer long, and for variation, I will add in some cherry tomatoes just before the zucchini is thoroughly cooked. As well as serving this dish as a veggie side dish with grilled or roasted meat, I also like to serve it on an antipasti tray along with some prosciutto, or good quality salami along and slices of crusty Italian bread.

Small, freshly picked zucchini are best in this dish as large zucchini can contain too much water. I prefer this dish at room temperature so you can enjoy the subtle flavor of the zucchini, but it can be served warm as well.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 

Zucchini Trifolati

Zucchini Trifolati

Yield: Serves 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Simple Italian cooking at its best!


  • 10 to 12 Small Zucchini, Trimmed & Cut Into 4 Slices
  • 4 Tablespoons Good Quality Olive Oil
  • 2 Garlic Cloves, Peeled & Thinly Sliced
  • 1/2 Cup Water

1/3 Cup Chopped Fresh Mint or Parsley (Or A Combination of Both)

  • Salt & Pepper
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red Chili Flakes


  1. Heat the olive oil over low heat in a heavy skillet and add the zucchini and garlic.
  2. Cook slowly until the zucchini softens and browns, about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the water and stir to mix, scraping any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
  4. Continue to cook until all of the water has been absorbed, about another 10 minutes.
  5. Stir in the fresh chopped mint or parsley and red pepper flakes.
  6. Season well with salt and pepper and serve warm or at room temperature.

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