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Zucchini creations
 
If you have a summer veggie garden, you probably have a zillion zucchinis. Bring on the recipes! We published a few delicious zucchini recipes in an earlier edition here https://us6.campaign-archive.com/?u=bc07404333447230f953d1004&id=d3756ffc24 but zucchinis are so versatile, you can never have too many recipes at this time of the year…
 
Greek zucchini fritters
 
This recipe is inspired by our visit to the restaurant, Meze Mazi (Prospect Road, Prospect) last week.
Serves 4
Ingredients:
  • 500g zucchini (about 2 medium), trimmed
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 spring onions, minced
  • 2 tbs minced fresh dill
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press
  • ¼ tsp minced chilli
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ¼ cup cornflour or plain flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbs olive oil
  • Lemon wedges and Tzatziki, for serving
 
Method:
  1. Shred the zucchini on the large holes of a box grater or in a food processor fitted with the shredding disk. Transfer the zucchini to a fine mesh strainer and set over a bowl. Toss the zucchini with the salt and let it sit for 10 minutes. Wring all of the excess liquid out of the zucchini with your hands, then set aside.
  2. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Mix in the dried zucchini, scallions, dill, feta, garlic and black pepper. Sprinkle the corn starch and baking powder over mixture and stir until uniformly incorporated.
  3. Heat 3 tbs olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Drop 2-tbs sized portions into the pan, then use the back of a spoon to gently press the batter into 2-inch-wide fritters. Pan-fry until golden brown on both sides, 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer the fritters to a paper towel-lined plate. Wipe the skillet clean with paper towels. Return the skillet to medium heat, add the remaining 3 tbs olive oil, and repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm or room temperature with Tzatziki and lemon wedges.
 
 
Tian of Zucchini and Tomatoes:
 
Can you believe that I’ve been making this recipe (from French chef Roger Vergé) for over 30 years?
Beautiful things stand the test of time.
Ingredients:
  • 3 medium-sized red peppers, about 125g, optional
  • 6 medium-sized zucchini, about 750g
  • 4 large red, ripe tomatoes, approx 900g
  • 1 large onion, about 230g
  • ⅓ cup plus ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tbs finely minced garlic
  • Salt to taste, if desired
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme or 4 sprigs fresh thyme broken into small pieces
 
Method:
  1. If the peppers are to be used, preheat the broiler. Place the peppers under the broiler and roast until they are burnt on one side. Turn and roast on the other side. Continue turning until roasted all over, top and bottom. Put in a plastic bag to cool. Peel. Discard the stems and seeds. Cut the peppers into thin strips. There should be about three-quarters of a cup.
  2. Trim off the ends of the zucchini. Using a swivel-bladed vegetable cutter, trim off the sides of each zucchini, leaving intervals of green to make a pattern. Cut the zucchini on the bias into quarter-inch slices. There should be about seven cups.
  3. Remove the cores from the tomatoes. Cut each tomato slice about one-third inch thick.
  4. Peel the onion and cut it in half crosswise. Cut each half into very thin slices. There should be about two cups. Put the onion in a heavy saucepan.
  5. Add one-third cup of oil and the water to the onion. Bring to the boil and cook over relatively high heat about 10 or 12 minutes. When ready, the onion will be nicely glazed and lightly browned. Do not burn.
  6. Preheat oven to 180C degrees.
  7. Spoon the onion over the bottom of an oval or rectangular baking dish (a dish that measures about 25cm diameter is ideal). Sprinkle the garlic and pepper strips over the onion.
  8. Arrange a single row of tomatoes along one side of the dish, letting them lean at an angle against the sides of the baking dish. Arrange a row of zucchini slices against the tomatoes. Continue to make one layer of stripes, then layer upon layer on top until all the tomatoes and zucchinis are used. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and the thyme. Dribble the remaining one-quarter cup of oil over all.
  9. Place in a 180C oven and bake 30 minutes. Increase the oven heat to 200C and continue baking about 45 minutes. Press the vegetables down with a flat pancake turner so that the juices cover the surface. Return to the oven and continue baking 15 minutes. Serve hot or cold.
 
 
 
Zoodles with Tofu:
Ingredients:
  • 6 cups zoodles (raw zucchini noodles - or another veggie noodle - or use rice, buckwheat or wheat noodles too!)
  • Simple Peanut Sauce: (double amounts if you like a lot of sauce, and some extra for tofu-dipping)
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 11/8 tsp cayenne (optional)
 
  • Crispy Maple Tofu:
  • 1-3 tsp virgin coconut oil, for frying**
  • 2 cups firm tofu, cubed
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp maple syrup
  • 1/8 tsp salt or a splash of tamari
  • optional: pepper and/or smoky paprika
 
**the more oil you use, the crispier your tofu will turn out, edges will be more 'pan-fried'
 
  1. Zoodle Prep: You can serve the noodles raw or you can lightly steam them.
  2. For the sauce, whisk or blend the peanut sauce ingredients. You can slightly modify the amounts to tweak your sauce. For example, add a bit more water for a thinner sauce, add more peanut butter for a thicker sauce, add more maple for a sweeter sauce, etc. Then, in a large mixing bowl, toss the zoodles with the peanut sauce. 
  3. For the tofu: Warm a skillet over high heat. Add the coconut oil and allow to melt and coat pan. "Dry" the tofu well by squeezing the cubes with a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Add the tofu to the pan. Cook 2-3 minutes then start flipping the tofu so all sides get bronzed a bit - the color will actually be slightly yellow at this point. Add the maple syrup and shake pan to distribute. Keep flipping the tofu, which will be quite caramelized and browned now. Add salt and spices. When edges start to crisp, turn off heat and set pan aside.
  4. Serve the peanutty noodles with the skillet tofu.
 
 
The best Zucchini Pickles:
Ingredients:
  • 1 kg zucchini (thinly sliced)
  • 2 medium onions (thinly sliced)
  • 2 tbs salt
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 2 level tsp yellow mustard seed
  • 1 level tsp celery seeds
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 level tsp turmeric
 
Method:
  1. Combine the zucchini, onions and salt and stand for two hours. Rinse well and drain.
  2. Mix the vinegar, sugar, salt and spices in a large saucepan with a lid and bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the zucchini and onion and stand for two more hours turning the zucchini over to marinate in the pickling solution. Reheat and boil for just 5 minutes.
  3. Cool until warm and place in hot sterilised jars. Seal tightly and turn upside down for 15 minutes. Turn right side up and you should have a seal.
 
 
 
Zucchini and pistachio spice cake
Ingredients:
  • 3/4 cup (185ml) sunflower oil
  • 3/4 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (75g) unsalted pistachios, finely chopped, plus 1/4 cup (35g) slivered unsalted pistachios to decorate
  • 1/2 cup (60g) almond meal
  • 2 cups grated zucchini (about 3-4)
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp ground mixed spice
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 1/2 cups (225g) self-raising flour
  • 1/2 cup (75g) plain flour

 

Lime Frosting

  • 180g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cups (200g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 250g cream cheese, softened, chopped
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lime
 
 
Method:
  1. Using an electric mixer with whisk attachment, beat the oil, sugar, eggs and vanilla until thick. Stir in chopped nuts, meal, zucchini and spices. Sift over soda and flours and stir to combine. Pour into pan and bake for 70 minutes or until a skewer inserted in centre comes out clean. Cool in pan for 20 minutes, then turn onto a wire rack and cool completely.
  2. For the frosting, use electric beaters to beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With the motor running, gradually add cheese, beating well between additions. Add zest and juice and beat until smooth.
  3. Using a bread knife, slice the cake into two rounds and set aside top. Spread a third of the frosting over the bottom half, then replace top and spread cake with remaining frosting. Decorate with slivered pistachios.
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