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Calabacitas | Cinco de Mayo During Coronavirus

For something so simple, calabacitas does deliver pleasure. I used zucchini, spring onion and celery from my local CSA, as well as a few bits and bobs lurking in the refrigerator.  I encourage you to do the same.   When summer comes around, corn just sliced off the cob would be a nice addition.  Mix in a cup or two of cooked black beans or pinto beans if you want something more-ish.  Stuff tortillas with it, or serve it with rice.  I served it as a light-ish lunch with homemade tortillas and guacamole. The guacamole makes for a creamy counterpoint. This version is not too spicy.  I splashed hot sauce on mine. 


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 spring onion or 1 small onion chopped
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 large zucchini chopped
  • 1 good-sized celery stalk chopped
  • 1 poblano chopped
  • 1 cup tomato sauce or 1 good-sized tomato well chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon coriander
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • 1 handful cilantro chopped, to finish


  • In  a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion or spring onion, give it a stir, and after a few minutes, when it starts to soften, add the minced garlic.
  • Continue cooking, and add the chopped zucchini, celery and poblano.   After about 10 minutes, as vegetables start to sweat and soften, sprinkle in the cumin, paprika and coriander, then pour in the tomatoes.
  • Stir well to combine.  Cook for another 10 minutes or so until the vegetables are tender and the whole thing is heated through and on the dryish side.  The tomato or tomato sauce is there to build flavor and help bind, but this is a sauté not a stew.
  • Season to taste with sea salt, pepper and finish with chopped cilantro.


Keeps covered and refrigerated for several days.