Up to my zucchi-knees
Half way through my first season in the garden I can confidently say I do not have a good understanding of yields and proportions. While the small seed pack of peas yielded a couple litres for the freezer, the same small pack of zucchini seeds left me scrambling to find homes for the oversized zucchinis. We spent the last two weeks processing our haul.
To save you the scramble, here are some uses we found for zucchini. Say zucchini one more time.
Grate and drain zucchini. Try lightly pressing grated zucchini in a colander with paper towel on the bottom. Combine zucchini with a couple handfuls of corn flour, corn meal, an egg, salt and any seasoning to taste. You want the batter to be able to form loose balls. Portion fritters and press into a hot fry pan with oil (canola, coconut, vegetable) and fry fritters to hearts content. To get a real fitter you want the ball to be quite thin but you can make the ball more beefy for more of a zucchini patty. Serve with aioli, pesto or desired sauce.
I turned to Smitten Kitchen's Deb Perelman's for this recipe.
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup (235 ml) olive, vegetable oil or melted butter (I use a mix)
- 1 1/3 to 1 3/4 cups granulated or turbinado sugar (the latter is the original amount)
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground or freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea or table salt
- 2 cups grated, packed zucchini (from about 10 ounces or 2 smallish zucchini)
- 3 cups (390 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup (55 grams) chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)
- 1 to 2 cups dried cranberries, raisins or chocolate chips or a combination thereof (optional)
"Heat your oven to 350°F. Generously grease and flour or (coat with a nonstick spray) two loaf pans (8×4 or 9×5; this doesn’t fill the pans so smaller is fine). Alternatively, you can grease 24 standard muffin cups or line them with paper liners.
Whisk eggs, oil or butter, sugar and vanilla in the bottom of a large bowl. Sprinkle cinnamon, nutmeg, baking soda, baking powder and salt over wet ingredients and whisk them in well. Stir in zucchini. Gently stir in flour, mixing only until flour disappears. Stir in any add-ins, from nuts to chocolate.
Divide between prepared pans and bake for 55 to 65 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. [Muffins will bake far more quickly, approximately 20 to 25 minutes.] You can let them cool for 10 minutes on a rack before inverting and removing cakes from pans, or just let them cool completely in pans. Store it wrapped in foil at room temperature for up to 5 days."
Zucchini Summer Salad
Funnily enough, Deb Perelman came through again with one of my favourite, and easy, summer salads. This salad has impressed all of the folks I've served it to and I imagine that's because it's not a boring iceberg lettuce salad. There is no cooking, just preparing and it's very easy, fresh and dresses to impress.
- Toasted almond slices
- Grated parmesan
- Olive oil
- A couple handfuls of arugula if you would like to beef it up for drop in guests.
Slice, chop, spiralize, or use your vegetable peeler to make long thin strips of zucchini. Depending on my mood I prepare the zucchini differently. For company I always use the vegetable peeler to make beautiful silky strips of zucchini but when it's just me and my baby Simon is close to a melt down, I roughly chop zucchini into more convenient bite size pieces so I can eat with one hand.
Toast almonds. Or don't.
In the Smitten Kitchen book, Perelman makes a dressing out of the lemon, parmesan, olive oil and salt, but again depending on where Simon is on the content scale I will just throw everything together in the bowl.
With the overabundance of produce there are going to be a lot of pickles in our future and I couldn't be happier. If you find yourself in the same spot, the book Batch by Joel MaCcharles and Dana Harrison will be a great friend.
- 2lbs zucchini spears
- 2.5cups vinegar
- 2.5 tablespoon salt
- 5 bay leaves
- 2.5 tablespoon mustard seeds
- 1.5 tablespoon coriander seed
- 5 teaspoon chilli flake
- 8 clove garlic
Prepare your jars and hot pack the zucchinis.
This was us just trying to use zucchinis but we wanted lasagna. We snuck in multiple layers of grated zucchini in between layers of meat sauce and cheese. There was a good week where most of our meals had to feature zucchini. Sauté zucchini on a grain like quinoa or bugler with dill, zucchini in a stir fry, or sliced on pizza. We also have ziplock bags full of grated zucchini in our freezer. As of right now, our twelve beefy zucchini plants seem to have slowed down so we are able to take a break. But of course, now every meal has green beans in it.