Is it just me, or does everyone suddenly have more zucchini than they know what to do with?
I got two big zucchini from a friend a little bit ago, so I've been testing different recipes with it. I don't actually like zucchini, as a general rule, so it's been fun trying to see how I do like to eat it.
First was zucchini falafel. You just take shredded zucchini (shredded on a box grater or in the food processor) and sub it in for chickpeas in falafel. I added salt, garlic powder, and cumin, plus enough flour to make it a doughlike consistency. (For a mid-size zucchini, maybe 1/4 cup.) Then I cooked it in my hot cast-iron pan in a bit of olive oil. It wasn't as delicious as real falafel -- more chewy, less crunchy -- but it was quite good. Especially considering it's zucchini!
Then this morning, I adjusted my applesauce cookie recipe to make zucchini cookies.
1 cup shredded zucchini
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup oil or melted butter
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour (whole wheat or white)
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
(1/2 cup chopped nuts)
(1/2 cup raisins)
First mix the wet ingredients together, then the dry, then mix together. Cook in a 375 degree oven for 10-15 minutes. To make applesauce cookies instead, use 1 cup applesauce in place of the zucchini AND the sugar. I think applesauce is sweet enough as-is.
Another new development is my first cucumbers. I am so excited because I love cucumbers. I wasn't quite sure when to harvest them, because they kept getting bigger and less green, but they still had little spines on them. Eventually I just picked them, spines and all, and peeled them. My first bite of the first cucumber made me think, "Uh-oh, it must be overmature," because it was bitter. But once I got past the stem end of the cucumber, it was the sweetest cucumber I'd ever tasted. The variety is called Delicatesse. I'd better save seed from them -- they're a keeper. Took no particular effort to grow, either.
With that first cucumber I made a cucumber-mint smoothie. It reminded me a bit of a Starbucks green tea frappecino ... which happens to be my favorite drink ever. I grated the cucumber and stuck it in the freezer a couple hours to get half-frozen. Then I blended it with several mint leaves and about 1/4 cup of plain yogurt, with a little squirt of honey to sweeten it. Now I'm thinking I want to make another one, but with green tea added. Doesn't that just sound delicious and summery?
Now if only my tomatoes will get ripe ... I have dozens of green ones and check them every day, hoping I can stop eating grocery-store softballs and actually eat a REAL tomato again!