Mountains of Zucchini
By Mac Millhone
Summer is coming to an end and you are faced with another bumper crop of zucchini. Not to worry, there are only about a million great ways to fix this abundant fruit. A fruit? Oh yes it is, trust me. Try a few of the following and you will be happy zucchini is plentiful, inexpensive and available all year.
As always you need kosher salt, fresh ground pepper and good olive oil.
Zucchini Soup serves 4
1 Tbs. olive oil
2 medium onions diced
5 or 6 medium zucchini diced
4 cups chicken broth
1 cup cream, optional
In a medium to large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and stir fry until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add zucchini, salt and pepper to taste and heat through. Add stock, bring to boil and reduce to simmer. Cook over low heat 15 minutes. Blend until smooth with an immersion blender or in batches in food processor or blender. Caution! Hot liquids expand shockingly in the blender or processor. Return soup to a pot and add cream if desired. Adjust seasoning and heat through. Need more? Crumble bacon or chunks of Feta cheese over hot soup. A handful of chopped fresh herbs would be nice. Try this soup cold on a hot Summer night.
Zucchini Frittata serves 4
1 Tbs. butter
1 Tbs. olive oil
3 green onions diced
4 medium zucchini cut in 1/4 inch thick circles
chopped fresh herbs of choice
Preheat broiler. In a large frying pan, heat butter and oil over medium heat. Add green onions and turn in hot oil to coat, 2 minutes. Add zucchini and stir fry till gently browned. Crack eggs into a bowl and add 1 Tbs. water. Mix eggs well with whisk or fork and pour mixture over the hot zukes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Let it alone for several minutes then slip a spatula under the mixture, lift and allow uncooked egg to run through. Repeat several times. The sides will begin to look cooked and the middle will be moist after 5 to 6 minutes. When you see this, slide pan under hot broiler to finish. This is not the time to walk away or visit social media. Watch the top of frittata for browning. This will happen fast. When you like the color remove pan from broiler. It will be puffy and beautiful. Scatter chopped fresh herbs over everything and serve from skillet. This is a great anytime meal. Breakfast, lunch or add a green salad and hot garlic bread for dinner.
Zucchini Fritters serves four
6 to 8 medium zucchini grated on large holes of box grater
1 medium onion grated
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, optional
Place grated zucchini and onion in a clean dishtowel. Twist and squeeze as much moisture as possible from the mixture. Be aware that the towel will be permanently stained from this process so dedicate one towel for this purpose. Mix the other ingredients together well, then add to zucchini and onion. Toss everything together until thoroughly mixed. It will be wet and sticky. Heat 4 Tbs. oil in a large skillet. Cast iron is my first choice for this application. When the pan is nice and hot, drop large tablespoon-size globs of mixture into oil and gently press into pancake-like circles. Do not crowd pan, this is done three or four at a time. Three or four minutes should be enough time for slight browning to show on edges. Flip and cook the other side. If you want more color, give them more time. Add oil between batches as required. Feast on these as they come out of the pan or hold in a warm (200 degree) oven until the entire recipe is ready. Serve these beauties with sour cream and applesauce. Another healthy idea is to mix yogurt with a little lemon juice, salt and chopped fresh herbs. Whatever you choose to serve them with, these fritters may well become a staple at your house.
Mac, a retired airline captain, is currently living in Annapolis. He enjoys researching food, cooking and baking. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org