Zucchini: A late summer time bounty | Foods-and-consume

Audria Easterly

I have been enviously studying the entries in gardening blogs (“Anyone want some zucchini? I have obtained a bushel of them!”) And it truly is all I can do to maintain from begging, “Absolutely sure! Give them all to me.” My sole minor zucchini plant only has a number of infants. I will maintain my fingers crossed that all the bouquets predict a bumper crop a little later in the period — but time is running out. The good thing is, for me, zucchini is easily out there at every single grocery keep and at the Farmer’s Industry.

Zucchini and its summer months squash siblings, yellow squash and calabacitas, are pretty functional veggies. The choices are plentiful, just like zucchini alone.

Slice and sauté in a tiny olive oil with garlic and herbs for a easy and tasty side dish. Slash lengthwise, toss with vinaigrette and grill. Grate and include into a sweet batter for a dense and delicious fast bread. Add to spaghetti sauce for a healthy veggie raise. You can even spiralize and use in position of pasta for a lighter meal solution.

As a lot of of you know, I am Greek. That usually means I like to share my culinary heritage. We Greeks like to feed people, and my loved ones was no exception. We joyfully exclaim “Kali Orexsi” as we provide supper to the table, which suggests “delight in your good hunger.”

Greeks are inclined to have quite a few vegetarian dinners a week, and pointless to say, zucchini is an vital component of Greek delicacies. Greeks glance at zucchini as a considerable substitute for meat. Summer squash cooks immediately and preferences delightful. Lots of a busy night my mom served us a braised zucchini stew with potatoes, onions and a thick tomato sauce. She done the food with a salad for a swift and tasty repast. Her get started-to-complete recipe only took about 30 minutes to prepare dinner, so by the time we established the table and sliced the crusty bread, supper was served.

Some of my fondest reminiscences are from when my mother manufactured distinctive zucchini dishes. After in a although, specially through vacations and weekends, she cooked up a batch of kolokithokeftethes — zucchini fritters. These crisp and tasty cakes had been historically served with creamy tzatziki — a refreshing yogurt and cucumber sauce. Zucchini fritters ended up a vegetarian substitute for the traditional Greek savory meat patties that had been served normally for evening meal at our property. If we were being owning company, she manufactured the fritters pretty modest to take in as mezedes — appetizers.

Yet another festive and mouth-watering zucchini dish my mother built, especially at the finish of summer months when squash was bountiful, was kolokithopita, a savory and crisp phyllo pie. The exquisite zucchini filling was comparable to that of spanakopita — typical Greek spinach phyllo pie. She sautéed the zucchini with inexperienced onions and lots of herbs, then combined the cooled outcomes with eggs and feta cheese. My mother then brushed melted butter on layers and layers of slender phyllo pastry, adding the zucchini filling in two batches with much more layers in amongst, right before topping with the remaining phyllo pastry and the final drops of butter. The savory smell of buttery pastry and common Greek herbs, like dill and mint, loaded the home as the pita (Greek for “pie”) baked until finally golden. Kolokithopita was customarily baked in a spherical pan and lower into wedges.

Zucchini year is my fantastic justification for me to revisit these tantalizing family members dishes. The late summer season abundance can in some cases overwhelm, but I can use up massive quantities of the beautiful new zucchini in these preparations. Effortless and tasty, possibly recipe would be perfect for a lighter food or a sizeable side dish.

And as soon as you’ve got tried using them, you can personalize the recipes, far too. Add shredded carrots to the fritters for an even more strong end result. And the phyllo pie welcomes the addition of other sautéed veggies, this kind of as mushrooms or corn. And why not increase 50 percent a cup of freshly roasted chopped green chile? I love incorporating that snappy Taos twist into lots of of my preferred recipes.

So I hope you give just one or additional of these dishes a consider up coming time you have a boatload of zucchini, whether you get it at the sector, improve it in your garden, or profit from the generosity of pals (trace, trace.)

And yet again, “Kali Orexsi.” And maybe you will be inspired to dance a minimal “Zorba” around the desk.

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