Tag Archives: Zucchini

Zucchini Fritters

So for breakfast this morning I decided to make zucchini fritters.  In one of those highly anticipated moments of pure bliss, heaven and earth came together in a flash of blinding light when I stumbled upon a recipe that looked good (in Food and Wine) and actually had all of the ingredients on hand.  Not only that, but I was hoping to use up some zucchini and the rest of some ricotta cheese before our vacation starts on Saturday.

Those moments are just the best, aren’t they?

Zucchini Fritters Printable Recipe Card

  • 2 medium zucchini, coarsely grated
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 C ricotta cheese
  • 3/4 C whole-wheat flour
  • 3 leeks, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 t salt

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all the ingredients, mixing in the flour last until just combined.

So easy.

Traditionally, you would fry these fritters in olive oil for a few minutes on each side.  That’s what the magazine said.  I, however, would like to be able to wear a bikini and therefore baked and broiled my fritters.  But it’s up to you.  I won’t judge you either way.

Drop spoonfuls of the zucchini mixture on an oiled baking sheet and flatten with the back of a spoon (this recipe should make about 20 fritters).  Bake them for 5-10 minutes on the middle rack, then turn the broiler on and broil for a few minutes on each side, until they are golden and crispy.  You may have to do these in two batches.

I really liked these; Fritz, however, did not at all.  He ate one bite and then quietly packed them up into a Tupperware, trying not to hurt my feelings.

They weren’t hurt.  More fritters for me!

You can recrisp these in the oven, set at 350, for a few minutes on each side.

Fritters aside, I spent all day reorganizing the apartment and somehow managed to fully complete the main room.  I rearranged furniture, went through piles of books, and did a lot of dusting.  It’s amazing how we fit so much stuff into such a small space!  To show you the extent of my work, here’s on example–the dreaded linen (and everything else) closet.  Before:

And after!

The most fun part about doing this kind of reorganizing is when you first start and the house looks like it was completely ransacked–though Henry was so excited to have new places to play sleep.

Here’s some of the finished product–including the table piled with goods to donate and/or sell:

And of course I can’t forget CSA box number 10!  Boxes number 11 and 12 are going to be picked up by a friend of mine to enjoy while we are on vacation–I’ll miss them…but I’m pretty sure it’ll be worth it!

Good night!

34 Comments

Filed under Side Dishes

Zucchini and Tomato Tart

Only one more test to go (my last practical for my entire educational career!), then I’m a free woman!  My test isn’t until 8:30 tomorrow night, which gives me quite a bit of time to study (and agonize) until it’s all over.

I was searching for recipes using zucchini (since it appears I will be receiving yet more of it in my CSA box tomorrow), and I found this very yummy-looking tart from The Flour SackSince I haven’t made real food in a while, I thought it’d be a nice change from having Fritz grill everything while I cram for exams.

Zucchini and Tomato Tart Printable Recipe Cards

for the crust:

  • 2 C whole-wheat flour (you should probably use pastry flour, but I used straight whole-wheat)
  • 1 t salt
  • 1/4 C olive oil
  • scant 1/2 C ice water

for the filling:

  • 1 C fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 C feta cheese
  • 1/4 C mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 C thinly sliced fresh basil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

top:

  • 1 medium to large zucchini, sliced thinly
  • handful of grape tomatoes, sliced in half
  • drizzle of olive oil (about a T)

This is a bit of a complex recipe, just in terms of how many bits and pieces there are to prepare, so make sure you have a little counter space and time available to you before starting.

Start with the crust.  Oil a 10-inch tart pan.  Combine the flour and salt in the mixer bowl, then drizzle the olive oil over the top while the mixer is running.  It should form small little balls throughout the flour (some flour will remain dry).  Slowly add the ice water until all the flour is moistened, and stop the mixer.  Move the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead once or twice to form a ball before rolling out to a large circle.  Lightly place onto the tart pan, press into place, and cut off the excess edges.

I didn’t have a tart pan, so I used a slightly smaller pie pan.  It worked fine, but I think the larger size would work better in making a thinner tart that cooks more quickly and evenly.  I used the extra edges to make four small mini-tarts–so cute!

Refrigerate the crusts for at least half an hour, then place them in the oven (preheated at 375 degrees) for 15 minutes, weighted down with pie weights or dried beans over a piece of parchment paper.  After 15 minutes, remove the weights and paper and let it toast for another 5 minutes.

While the crust is chilling and cooking, set up the zucchini.  Because they have such a high water content, toss the thin slices with a pinch of salt and lay them out on paper towels.  This will let them release some water before they drown your tart while cooking.

Mix the filling ingredients together in a small bowl and set aside.  When the crusts are ready, spoon the filling into an even layer.  Dab the zucchini slices with a paper towel to dry them, then layer in a circular pattern over the top.  Drop the grape tomatoes, halved, on top, and drizzle with olive oil.

Don’t expect yours to look exactly like mine, since I doubled the zucchini–I’ve got a lot to use up!  I absolutely love zucchini, so I was happy with more, but the proportions would probably be better with the original amount.

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about half an hour, when the tart is cooked through–the zucchini is tender and the tomatoes are bursting with flavor.

A work of art to look at!

My only complaint with this tart was that the crust was a bit dense–that may be my fault, since I didn’t use pastry flour.  I also would have preferred to put it in a larger pan than what I had lying around, but I didn’t have anything that would be a better fit.

I must say, however, that the bite-sized tarts were absolutely amazing.  Two-bite-sized, really, but super cute and the perfect ratio of crust, cheese, and vegetable.

We ate half of the tart, and were completely stuffed.  Very filling.

Anyhoo, I have to go write a take-home final for my ethics class (best kind of test there is), so have a lovely evening!  To keep up with the late nights, I’ve been drinking vast quantities of English breakfast tea to keep me feeling sane–what’s your comforting drink of choice?  I’ve never really been a coffee kind of person.

5 Comments

Filed under Entrees, Vegetarian

White Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies

We’ve got a lot of zucchini around these parts.  Your standard green zucchini and the special golden variety–lots of ’em.  Since Fritz and Eber (his sister) are hangin’ around this weekend, and both are notorious chocoholics, I decided to make them a special vegetable delectable treat.

White chocolate chip zucchini brownies.

They are fudgy, chocolatey, and incredibly moist, studded with walnuts and white chocolate chips.  You also can’t see the zucchini at all.  It’s a beautiful thing.

White Chocolate Chip Zucchini Brownies (adapted from Skinny Chef) Printable Recipe Card

  • 1 egg
  • 2 t vanilla
  • 1 C sugar
  • 1/4 C vegetable oil
  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 C unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/4 t cinnamon
  • 2 C shredded zucchini (leave the skin on and use the small holes of the grater)
  • 1/2 C walnuts
  • 1 C white chocolate chips

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and oil a square brownie pan. 

Combine the egg, oil, sugar, and vanilla.  Add the dry ingredients (flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon) and mix until blended.  Fold in the zucchini, chocolate chips, and walnuts.

Pour the batter into a baking pan and bake on the middle rack until cooked through, 30-45 minutes.  The brownies were still a bit fudgy when I took them out of the oven,leaving some wet crumbs on an inserted toothpick.  Not only is that okay, it’s the best.  Do it. 

I was shocked at how high the batter rose.  I was afraid they would be too much like cake, but with the zucchini, they were super moist and dense.  Total brownie delight.

Plus, I got to use up two (smallish) zucchini to make the magic happen.

By the way, I just ate one that I microwaved for 10 seconds (I stored them in the fridge), and they definitely got even better over the last few hours. 

They’d be amazing with a little ice cream.

Thought I’d also show you the gorgeous green monster I made this morning: basically the classic green monster, but with the addition of a beet.

Magenta monster?

17 Comments

Filed under Desserts

Cinnamon Streusel Zucchini Bread

I am totally in love with the weekend.  Fritz and I zipped through quite a bit of our (lengthy) to-do list, and I still had time to do some reading, make this bread, and am now making pizza for dinner!

One is a veggie pizza with red sauce (broccoli and green onion from our CSA box) and the other is a white pizza with pesto, ham, and fresh-picked basil.  The pizza dough is resting as we speak and the pizza stone is heating up in the oven.  Sometimes it’s really nice to make dinner and not blog it–I can move quickly, not worry about making a mess, and also not care a whit that it’s raining outside and my light is rapidly disappearing.  Not to mention Fritz will actually get to eat hot food for once!

Today was also Fritz’s first time ever having zucchini bread–and now he is one step closer to being a real American.

Cinnamon Streusel Zucchini Bread (adapted from Oh She Glows) Cinnamon Streusel Zucchini Loaf Printable Card

  • 2 C flour–I used 1 C white and 1 C whole-wheat
  • 2 T wheat germ
  • 2 t baking powder
  • 1 t baking soda
  • 1/4 t salt
  • 1/2 t cinnamon
  • 1/4 t nutmeg
  • 1/2 C sugar
  • 1/3 C each raisins and chopped walnuts
  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 C shredded zucchini (just wash it, but leave the skin on)
  • 1 T maple syrup
  • 1 1/4 C skim milk

For the topping:

  • 2 T flour
  • 2 T brown sugar
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 T butter

This is a quick and easy recipe to throw together, with an impressive taste.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and oil a loaf pan, then line it with parchment paper (makes it much easier to get the dang thing out).

I just love the way a loaf pan looks, all ready to go.  So full of possibility.

In a mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients (flour, wheat germ, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugar, raisins, and walnuts.  Give them a quick stir, then add the rest of the ingredients (except for the stuff for the topping…duh).  Mix until combined and relatively lump-free (I mean, there are raisins in there and stuff), then pour into the loaf pan.

For the topping, use a fork to squish all the ingredients around until they form large crumbs, then drop over the top of the bread batter.

Bake on a middle rack in your oven until an inserted skewer comes out dry and it is a totally gorg deep brown, about an hour.  Remove and cool before slicing (riiiiiight…).  My topping sank down a bit into the loaf while baking, which actually made for a nice suprise during the subsequent consumption.

Serve this baby with butter, and iced coffee left over from the dregs of your husband’s earlier pot.  Yum.  A new and rare indulgence.

I handed a plate with a piece of bread on it to Fritz while he was locked away in our bedroom studying, and he came dashing out of the room looking incredulous.  “Zucchini!”, he cried.  “Such a moist loaf with the glorious textural addition of walnuts!”

Or something like that.  Needless to say, he really liked it.

He’s a real American now.

16 Comments

Filed under Breads

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad

Today was a perfect taste of summer.

I read a book on the deck, I ran errands with the windows of the car rolled all the way down, Fritz grilled kielbasa and zucchini for lunch, and I even got a tiny bit of a sunburn.

It’s just not summer if I’m not a little pink and a lot freckily.  And yes, I’m aware that it’s not actually summer yet–but it really felt like it today!

The zucchini that Fritz grilled for me was transformed into a light spring or summer salad that went so well with the kielbasa.  The zucchini was sliced thin (hence the name “ribbon salad”) and brightened up with some lemon juice and parsley that is flourishing in our herb garden.  Perfect accompaniment to grilled meat, I must say.

Grilled Zucchini Ribbon Salad (inspired by this recipe)

  • 2 zucchini
  • handful of parsley, minced (probably about 1/4 C)
  • 1/4 C walnuts, chopped and toasted
  • 1-2 t olive oil
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • 1/4 t red pepper flakes
  • 2 t grated parmesan cheese
  • sprinkle of garlic powder (or 1/2 clove, minced)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Slice the zucchini into thin ribbons–if you have a mandolin (the slicing kind, not the musical kind), that’d be perfect.  I used the slicing side of my box grater, which also worked really well.

Coat a grill skillet with some of the olive oil, and grill the zucchini over high or medium heat for a few minutes, until browned and softened–I did it in two batches for better browning, since zucchini has such a high water content.  Without a grilling pan, you could probably lay the slices directly on the grill, but I imagine that’d be quite annoying and time-consuming.  Maybe you could grill larger pieces and slice them afterwards?

To make the salad, allow the zucchini to cool a bit and toss with the remaining olive oil and lemon juice.

Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, and parmesan cheese.

Sprinkle with the chopped parsley.

And toss on the toasted walnuts (to toast, put them in a dry pan and place them on medium heat for a few minutes, shaking them to prevent burning).

Give it a big mix, and season with salt and pepper to taste.

This is a perfect way to eat zucchini–not too heavy, and the walnuts add a surprising crunch that makes for a better texture. 

Lip-lickin’ good.

Also–I am about to register for my third-year PT school classes.  My last year!  It came so fast (though sometimes it felt sooo slow)–though I can’t celebrate it fully yet, since I have masses of midterms, practicals, presentations, projects, and papers to work on (so many P-words!) before I’m done with my second year.

But still.  It feels good to almost be a third year.

Also, I was happy to have my (new!) camera out this morning when Fritz was leaving to go to school.  Every day on our way out the door we give Henry some treats–and the yoga positions that he contorts himself into crack us up.  A lot.  He is SO weird.

And as for yesterday’s joke–if April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?

Pilgrims!  Always makes me laugh.

Don’t judge me.

3 Comments

Filed under Side Dishes

Sautéed Zucchini

I’m back!  This week was pretty nuts, but I think that I’m finally getting back into the swing of things.  It’d be nice to have things running smoothly, unlike this morning when Fritz and I realized that we had literally no food in the house that was appropriate for a quick school lunch.  Tomorrow I have the morning off, so I’ll be sure to make some things we can pack quickly.

We also ran out of old-fashioned oats and steel-cut oats in the same week–a travesty!  Luckily, my mom can read my thoughts from 6 1/2 hours away (with no traffic, that is), and told me today that she mailed me three pounds o’ oats in a box today.

What a woman.

I was thinking today that I have been lax in posting side dishes, probably because it’s just more exciting to write about and photograph entrées, and because I also have an affinity for one-pot meals.  However, we do eat a lot of side dishes, especially since I’ve tried to add more vegetables to our diet lately.  Here’s a nice one for ya:

Sautéed Zucchini (courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen Family Cookbook)

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 2 or 3 zucchini (or summer squash), cut in half lengthwise and sliced crosswise
  • 1 small onion (I used half a giant onion), diced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 T dried parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, then toss in the onions and cook until translucent, a few minutes.

Meanwhile, chop the ends off of each zucchini, and slice-‘n’-dice.  Add those into the skillet.  After a few minutes (around eight), they will be tender and beginning to brown.  Make a well in the center and add the garlic, parsley, salt, and pepper, then toss all together.

Enjoy!  I’ve been using jarred garlic in olive oil because I hate having to peel and mince garlic, but when the taste is fairly important (such as this recipe), you can taste a weird, almost chemically aftertaste which is not the best.  However, on the bright side, Fritz never notices when I use garlic anymore.  Mission “Sneak Food Fritz Hates Into Everything He Eats Until He’s Immune” accomplished!

We ate this as a side to baked tilapia with a mustard (me) and chutney (Fritz) bread crumbs topping smothered with roasted tomatoes.  Yum.  So easy and a great way to make frozen fish taste good in a quick and healthy way.  I’ll post the recipe next time I make it!

I rarely eat zucchini (because I’ll almost always choose summer squash over it–I love yellow!) but I enjoyed having a different vegetable in the mix.  Days when I’m good about eating healthily and exercising just make me feel so amazing…and then I can enjoy some guilt-free relaxing time with Henry and Sleepless in Seattle (good recommendation, Mom)!

1 Comment

Filed under Side Dishes, Vegetarian