Last November my father took an epic Montana elk-hunting trip with his son (my brother) and his grandson (my nephew). For months since I have heard them wax poetic about the beauty of the land, the intensity of contact with the herd and the thrill of the hunt. While I have no doubt that the experience was life-affirming, in order to shed a tear I suppose I would have had to be there.
Which is why I do not attempt to compete with my (now daily) exploits. But I will tell you that I approach my zucchini patch with similar stealth and eager anticipation. And while I have not spent countless hours on Youtube studying the object of my desire, I do have some insight into the behavior of my prey.
At the end of every day, I know that beneath the canopy of those broad prickly leaves, camouflaged in every shade of garden green, there are new fruits ripe for the picking. And like my manly counterparts, I let the little ones go, admiring their beauty as they cling to the bright yellow blossoms like an elk calf to his mother's bosom.
And yes, I admit that every once in a while, a big one gets away from me. But once the harvest is made, there is serious work to be done because I too am determined not to waste any of my spoil.
Here are two of my favorite recipes right now:
EASY ZUCCHINI FRITTERS
4 medium zucchini (6-8 inches long)
1/3 cup garbanzo flour
2 crushed garlic cloves
salt & pepper to taste
butter and olive oil for frying
Grate the zucchini on a box grater or in a food processor. Place in a colander set over a bowl and toss with 1 tbsp sea salt. Let it stand and drain for 15 minutes before squeezing the water out completely in a clean flour sack dish towel or cheesecloth.
Meanwhile, stir eggs, garbanzo flour and garlic together in a bowl. Add zucchini, mix thoroughly and season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, combine 2 tbsp butter with 2 tbsp olive oil and heat until it becomes foamy.
With your hands, scoop out some zucchini batter and add carefully to the pan, flattening into circles. Mae them as big or small as you like, I like mine to be about 4 inches diameter.
Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, flipping gently when brown.
Remove to a paper towel-lined plate and serve with dollop of sour cream, a poached egg, a wedge of lemon or any way you like. They store well in the fridge, reheat easily in a toaster oven and are a great grab for breakfast or lunch, hot or cold for up to a week!
GRILLED ZUCCHINI ROULADE WITH ARTICHOKE PESTO
(IT ONLY SOUNDS FANCY, IT'S A CINCH).
IF YOU HAVE A SPIRALIZER YOU CAN MAKE
2 lbs zucchini (about 4 medium zucchini)
1 cup artichoke hearts (squeeze out excess water)
zest of 1 lemon
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
1/4 cup walnuts
pinch of salt and pepper
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup grated romano cheese
In a food processor, purée artichoke hearts, lemon zest, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, walnuts, and cheese.
With the machine running, stream in the olive oil. Season with salt & pepper to taste.
Slice zucchinis 1/2 inch thick lengthwise, brush with olive oil and grill for a minute or two on each side, just to soften slightly and make nice grill marks.
Spread artichoke pesto on the slices, roll them up and secure with a toothpick.
Bake in an oiled baking dish in a 350 degree oven for 15 minutes.
Toss with steamed zucchini "ZOODLES"
If you like the idea of cooking real food in season but don't want to spend hours in the kitchen doing it, you need the Food Truth app. Maybe even the cookbook.