Wash the zucchini well to remove any grit and dry them with paper towels. Trim off the ends and quarter the zucchini lengthwise. Slice off the top 1/4 to 1/2 inch of the soft seed core by running a sharp knife down the length of each quarter; it’s all right if some of the seeds remain. Arrange the zucchini, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with paper towels. Sprinkle with 1/2 tsp. kosher salt and set aside for 10 minutes. Blot the quarters dry with the paper towels. Cut the zucchini into 3/4-inch dice.
Heat a large skillet (preferably 12 inches wide and cast iron) over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Pour in 2 Tbs. of the oil, add the zucchini, and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the zucchini browns and softens enough that you can cut through it with the side of a fork, about 4 minutes. Transfer to a large plate. Carefully dry the hot skillet with a paper towel. Add the remaining 2 Tbs. olive oil and the potato; season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and a few generous grinds of black pepper. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes brown and cook through, about 7 minutes. Add the red pepper, garlic, and chili powder and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in the zucchini and cilantro and taste for salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
nutrition information (per serving):
based on four servings;
Photo: Scott Phillips