Jill's Favorite Calabasita

Jill's Favorite Calabasita
Like most kids, corn has been one of my favorite vegetables ever since I was little. This zucchini recipe is something our nana used to make all the time. I think it may have been her way of getting me to eat something other than just corn—and it worked. She called it calabasita, which in Spanish literally means, “little squash.” It’s really delicious and I highly recommend trying this as a side dish for kids. It’s a great way of getting them to eat zucchini—which isn’t a favorite for most kids!


4 small green zucchini, diced into ½” pieces
2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
1 small garlic clove, minced for ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
4 ears fresh corn, husked and kernels sliced off
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced into ½ “ pieces
½ cup grated mozzarella cheese (optional)


  1. Place the diced zucchini in a colander and toss with salt. Place the colander over a bowl and let sit, 20-30 minutes. The salt will bring out the liquid from the zucchini.
  2. Remove the zucchini and place on a kitchen towel. Gently pat the zucchini dry to remove any additional moisture. This step is optional, but in my opinion worth the extra time for two reasons: Drying zucchini prior to sautéing it keeps it from becoming watery, and I think this step removes the zucchini’s occasional bitterness.
  3. In a medium-sized sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic, when you do, the oil should sizzle. Saute 3-5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and translucent.  Do not brown.
  4. Add the zucchini and corn kernels and sauté another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. You may need to lower the heat to medium to prevent the vegetables from browning.
  5. Add the diced tomato and sauté another 2-3 minutes. Stir in the cheese, if desired.