In the great traditions of Jack, David and the good people of The Valley of the Jolly Green Giant, I have a problem. A giant problem!
There comes a point at the end of every summer where the days are long, the sun is warm and the zucchini are out of control. The problem is a simple combination of two factors. The first is that we have had a great summer and the second that my Father has lost control of the plants.
There are only so many small zucchini that a person can pick and if you take just one night off from the patrol, there is a ten pounder waiting for you in the morning. It is as though they balloon over night. Once they have reached the size of a small child, they become intimidating. My Father’s solution is always the same: Stuff them with ground beef, smother in tomato sauce and bake it to within an inch of it’s green life. Having been raised on this delicacy, a vegetarian and simple not willing to relive the past, I have a couple better ideas.
It was with optimism and an early evening empty stomach that I ventured into the veggie patch and took down a giant.
First of all, I chose one which was really more like extra large than gargantuan and definitely less elephantine than its cousins who I left there. I was afraid that if I tackled a real monster of a squash that I would injure my back and end up feet up on the bed watching bad TV and eating stuffed zucchini for the next week (we certainly would not want that). I chose my target, cut it from the plant and headed home.
The first half of the zucchini went to fritters. They are a quick and easy meal and a wonderful use for the giant zucchini who are a little spongy and well beyond the tender younger versions (aren’t we all?). The first thing that you need to do is to grate up the zucchini and then try to get out some of the water. I place is on a plate, salt it liberally and leave it alone for 10-15 minutes. When I am tired of waiting, I rinse it off, give it a really good squeeze through a colander and am ready for fritters.
You can take the fritters in any direction that you like depending on how you are feeling and what is in the cupboard. I was feeling like something fresh would be nice and so I reached for some mint, some feta, some lemon and the pepper grinder. I also had some chick peas lying around from the other night and so a mushed a few of those up to add a little protein and perhaps add a bit of structural integrity to the mix. An egg and a bit of flour completed the mix and after a quick sauté in a pan, they were done.
Serve them with a mint, garlic and yogurt/Kefir dressing for an extra flavour punch!
Sound good? They were…
I was also thinking that they would be great with Moroccan seasoning or even some curry spices and chutney for a quick pakora-like treat.
How do you use up giant zucchini? I am always on the lookout for great recipes!
Fabulous Zucchini Fritters
Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle. Delicious!
- 3 cups of grated zucchini
- 3 green onions sliced
- 1 cup of chick peas
- juice of half a lemon
- 1 egg
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1/2 cup fresh mint chopped
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 1/4 cup flour
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Grate the zucchini and salt liberally then leave it to sit on a plate for 10-15 minutes.
- Rinse and squeeze out the zucchini to get as much liquid as you can out.
- In a large bowl, whisk the egg.
- Add the chick peas and mash some of them so that there are some mashed and some left whole or in larger chunks.
- Add the remaining ingredients and mix.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Form the fritters into disks and sauté for 3-5 minutes until crisp and brown on both sides.
- Place them on paper towel to drain when cooked and serve.
- Serve with a yogurt or kefir dressing.
The Gilded Sprout http://thegildedsprout.com/