Thursday, August 7, 2008

Zucchini Wars

Considering the abundance of zucchini you may now be experiencing if you grow it yourself, it should come as no surprise that tomorrow, August 8th, is Sneak Some Zucchini Onto Your Neighbor’s Porch Night (according to this holiday was established by Tom Roy).

(It may however come as a surprise that National Zucchini Bread Day is April 23rd [or 25th depending on your source] since zucchini is not in season then.)

For us the zucchini donations began early, although not in secret. Our neighbor brought over a whopper of a zucchini from her grandmother’s garden.

I took this picture with our cat (yes another one) to give you a sense of scale.

(Think she looks angry in this picture? You would too if you’d just been subjected to an intensive photo shoot with a giant zucchini as your costar.)

Although tradition would dictate that a zucchini this large should be stuffed it was so hot we couldn’t bear to use the oven so we sliced it into thick discs along with an eggplant and threw it on the grill with some red cipollini onions, green peppers and baby portabella mushrooms. When it was all nice and yummy and grilled we just threw the ingredients into pita pockets with some homemade garlic yogurt sauce.

When I brought up the subject of zucchinis at work one coworker remarked that she remembered back in the day (the 70’s I presume?) when no one had car alarms people used to be so desperate to get rid of spare zucchini that they would open strangers cars and leave the zucchini inside.

If you find yourself that desperate to get rid of zucchinis (or you find some in your unlocked car) here are a couple of the ways I have found to use up zucchini that don’t involve turning on the oven in August to make zucchini bread.

Zucchini in Chili

Gasp! I know, those of you who are chili purists are probably revolted by the idea of zucchini in chili but trust me, my chili is already so corrupted a little zucchini won’t hurt it. I usually slice up the zucchini and throw it in early enough that it basically disappears into the chili although you can put it in later if you want it to retain some structure.

Zucchini Frittata

Now that Dad has retired we have a left over crisis at home. Randy takes lunch with him to work and Mom and Dad are home during the day so by the time I get home at 3ish looking for a late lunch most of the good leftovers are long gone. To deal with this problem on Monday Dad cooked me a zucchini frittata which is great because it is actually best leftover, served at room temperature, and can even be made into a sandwich.

oive oil
1 lb. zucchini
8 eggs
3 cloves garlic, chopped
12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/4 cup grated parmesan
fresh grated pepper

Grate zucchini into a colander, sprinkle with salt, let drain for 30 minutes or more, squeeze moisture from zucchini.
Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute zucchini and garlic on medium high until soft (2-5 minutes). Remove from heat, let cool.
Beat eggs, add basil, parmesan, pepper, zucchini and garlic and mix well.
Preheat oven proof skillet (we use cast iron) with 2 tablespoons olive oil over low heat. Add egg mixture, cover pan and turn heat to very low and cook until eggs are curdled almost to the top (about 10 minutes).
Pre-heat broiler, put eggs under broiler until top is browned and puffed (about 5 minutes).
Remove from heat and leat cool, loosen with spatual and invert onto plate. Enjoy!

(Adapted from Cucina Fresca by Viana La Place and Evan Kleiman.)

We may also end up pickling zucchinis this year, a great way to save them for yourself if they are piling up quicker then you can eat them. Look for that in future posts!

And now, to commemorate this great American holiday, I will shamelessly include some very cute pictures of one of my cats.

This one displays Toaster's astounding whiskers which are actually closer to lobster's feelers then whiskers:

This one is embarassing for several reasons:

1. You can see how unorganized our living room is. Sorry Mom.

2. Our cat is an exhibisionist.

P.S. This must be the ultimate Zucchini day since its not just August 8th but actually 8/8/08!

No comments:

Post a Comment