Zucchini Archive

Friday, July 27, 2012

zucchini bread pancakes

zucchini bread pancakes, maple yogurt

For someone who doesn’t garden, lives pretty far from farms and couldn’t even keep a couple herbs alive on her kitchen windowsill, I take zucchini population control pretty seriously. Sure, I don’t have to lock my car door in August, I don’t have a CSA dumping boxes of it unceremoniously on my porch and then running away like a thief in the night, and it’s been a long time since I lived in a house with bats in the backyard, but I get it. The problem is real. We all must do our part.

two seconds from zucchini to shreds
grated too much, just made more

But zucchini is pesky. It’s not like tomatoes, which are like the prom queens of the summer farms, perfect no matter how you dice, slow roast, scallop or sauce them. I never have enough tomatoes and they’re usually gone for the year before I am done with them; the same can rarely be said for zucchini. It can be a little slippery when cooked, weepy when raw. It’s hard to get it roasted or grilled to a crisp. Sure, it’s good battered and deep-fried, but I have a theory that my Rainbow flip-flop would be too. I’m not going to test it, though. I’m sure you understand.

mixing dry and wet pancake batter

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, August 25, 2011

zucchini fritters

impromptu zucchini fritters

Everyone’s got their superheroes; I’m sure when I was younger they were things like Super Grover and later, Jem but these days, they’re decidedly more humble: I admire the hell out of people who manage to put homemade meals on the table everyday, as this has never been my strong suit. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve spent the last year or so developing recipes for very specific things — a side dish, a salad, a tart — that don’t exactly add up to be a dinner, and that NYC makes it quite easy to order in whatever parts of your meal you haven’t made at home. I’m a terrible multitasker — really, no fan of it at all — and when I’m making brioche, I’m making brioche, and not brioche with a side of a pot of beans with something braising in the oven, no matter how much I wish I were.

humble servants
shredded

It also means that more often than not, I have a 4 p.m. panic as, whoops! someone will soon be hungry and I have no idea what’s for dinner and true to form, this happened last Tuesday. For the better part of two days, I’d been elbows deep in a truly epic cake I was making for the book but it turns out that even when you’re the grown-up in the house, cake does not equal dinner, which of course crushes all of my earlier hopes and dreams about adulthood. Often we’ll have something around that can become dinner — eggs for omelets, vegetables for salad or even flour for a quick pizza dough — but we’d just returned from vacation and the fridge was sparse. For once, however, what I scratched together exceeded my expectations, in the form of zucchini fritters from the zucchinis that seem to be growing in my fridge this summer; I never remember buying them but they’re always around.

so tiny once drained

Continued after the jump »

Thursday, July 21, 2011

charred corn tacos with zucchini-radish slaw

charred corn tacos

I would not say that previous to the last year, we were not taco people. I can think of several carnitas that have brought me nearly to tears (and definitely to tears when they stopped delivering) and we’ve been doing an egg-tortilla thing for years. But at some point in the last six months, I got bit with the taco bug bad and now I can hardly think of anything else to eat. Saturday afternoon and the toddler is napping and suddenly we’re hungry? Black bean tacos! Nothing but a couple zucchini in the produce drawer? Roasted zucchini tacos for dinner! I’m about thisclose to becoming the sort of person who puts peanut butter and jelly on a taco. The taco has become the answer to all questions.

slaw to be
tiny matchsticks

It’s this obsession that finally got me to unearth a dish I’ve been meaning to put my spin on for two years. That’s more than a lifetime, if you’re this guy, and even he doesn’t know why it took me so long. The dish is called esquites and from what I understand but have sadly not yet experienced yet in person, it is a street snack in Mexico. Corn is cooked in butter with onions, garlic, chiles, an herb called epazote and salt. It’s then seasoned with lime juice, chile powder and served with mayo in small cups. Oh hi, are you still here? I’m not, because every time I read that description, I run to JFK and book the next flight to Mexico.

charring the corn, duck!

Continued after the jump »

Monday, August 9, 2010

zucchini and almond pasta salad

zucchini and almond pasta salad

And so, we’ve finally fled the coop. We headed out last weekend to a house we’ve rented (with enough spare bedrooms for grandparents to come and babysit catch up with their favorite grandson, because we are brilliant, friends, absolutely brilliant) and I’m dispatching from the beach this week. I’ve already had a dinner with friends that involved multiple formats of broiled cheese, several tastes of local wines, watched the sunset, had my first and second full night’s sleep in weeks, and now with the promise of Dunkin Donuts coffee and freckles in my near future, I have totally arrived.

goodbye, city! hello, farms!
long island wines
alex and boys, skipping stones

I can’t wait to cook off the books this week, do that kind of thing summer junkies like me live for, heading to one of the innumerable local markets, grabbing all of the corn, eggplant and tomatoes our large and tiny arms can haul and eating simple meals. Still, I did attempt to do a little precooking and had I not stayed out until 11 p.m. with these bad influences the night before and packing in a zombified frenzy the next morning, I might have even remembered to bring this pasta salad with me. Whoops.

Continued after the jump »

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

zucchini and ricotta galette

zucchini ricotta galette, served

I realized this week that it has been way, way too long since I made a galette. I remember being infatuated with them when I launched this site, uh, wow, hey, did you know this site is almost four years old? When did that happen? I was absolutely not paying attention. It’s kind of like when I was hanging out with the baby yesterday evening and he up and crawled over to the coffee table and pulled himself up to standing and, whoa, when did that happen? Who taught him that? Could you unteach him that, please? Thank you.

sliced zucchini
rolling out the dough

I digress: galettes! My galette obsession began with a wild mushroom and blue cheese galette a friend and I used to make every Christmas. It is unbelievably good, it will always be welcome, anywhere. Have you made it yet? You should. I moved onto a roasted butternut squash and caramelized onion galette the next fall and oh man, I would not kick that out of the kitchen for eating crackers. That’s how the saying goes, right? The next winter was all about Eastern Europe, with a cabbage and mushroom galette with chopped hard-boiled egg, dill and greens. I bet you didn’t know a little tart could be so filling, huh? And then, tsk-tsk, I apparently stopped making savory galettes and it’s such a shame because what each of these has in common is a crust so amazing, you will not believe it came out of your kitchen. Seriously. When I made it again yesterday and I was not sure I could tell it apart from store-bought puffed pastry. I’m not bragging, it’s a fine, fine recipe I adapted from an old Williams-Sonoma cookbook.

ready to crimp

Continued after the jump »