Let's talk about zucchini.
Better yet, let's talk about zucchini recipes. That's what Sue Barker of Brentwood and I did on a recent weekend at our granddaughters' softball tournament.
"I have a recipe called Zucchini Patties," Sue said. "I cut it out of a magazine or a newspaper years ago. The patties are easy to make, and they're really good."
"She's right," said her husband, Ed. "You can't walk by a dish of those patties without grabbing a few."
I made the patties, and the Barkers are right -- they are delicious. Oh, by the way, our granddaughter Ashley and her teammates won the tournament.
One of my favorite summer recipes is Grilled Chicken Ratatouille from "EatingWell In Season: The Farmers' Market Cookbook." This recipe uses numerous veggies, including zucchini.
You won't find zucchini in the Savory Vegetable Pancakes recipe below, but you will find a bounty of fresh veggies and herbs. I've been making these pancakes for a few years now, and I have substituted other vegetables, such as fresh broccoli instead of bell pepper.
Add a boost of flavor to these patties with fresh herbs. I added a few tablespoons of chopped fresh dill.
- 1 cup baking mix (Bisquick)
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or cheddar cheese
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 2 cups shredded zucchini
- 2 tablespoons chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon butter
Place baking mix, cheese, salt, eggs, zucchini and onion in a bowl and mix well. Melt butter in a large frying pan. Spoon heaping tablespoons of batter onto the pan. Fry 3 to 5 minutes on both sides, until golden brown. Place patties on paper towels. Add more butter to the pan when necessary.
Serves 5 to 6.
-- Sue Barker, Brentwood
GRILLED CHICKEN RATATOUILLE
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Canola oil or olive oil cooking spray
- 1 red bell pepper, halved lengthwise, stemmed and seeded
- 1 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise
- 1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 1/4 pounds)
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
Preheat grill to medium-high.
Combine oil, basil, marjoram and salt in a small bowl; place 1 tablespoon of the mixture in another small bowl, set aside.
Coat both sides of the vegetables with cooking spray. Grill vegetables, turning once, until soft and charred in spots, about 5 minutes each side for pepper, 4 minutes for eggplant and zucchini, and 3 minutes per side for tomatoes and onion. As the vegetables finish cooking, place them in a large bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Rub the tablespoon of reserved herb mixture on both sides of chicken and sprinkle with pepper. Grill chicken until cooked through and no longer pink in the center, 4 to 5 minutes per side.
Meanwhile, transfer the grilled vegetables to a cutting board and chop into 1-inch pieces. Return to the bowl and toss with vinegar and the remaining herb mixture.
Serve chicken with the ratatouille.
-- "EatingWell In Season: The Farmers' Market Cookbook" by Jessie Price and the editors of EatingWell (2009)
SAVORY VEGETABLE PANCAKES
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely diced (about 1 cup)
- 1/4 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and cut into small dice
- 1 cup coarsely grated carrots (about 2 medium)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery (about 1/2 rib)
- 1 cup baby spinach, packed (about 2 1/4 ounces), chopped
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 cup fresh white breadcrumbs
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- Sour cream, chopped tomato and fresh cilantro for garnish
In a medium saute pan, melt the butter over medium heat, add the onion, green pepper, carrots and celery and saute until slightly tender, about 4 minutes. Add the spinach, and saute for 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs and stir in bread crumbs. Add vegetable mixture; mix well. Season with 3/4 teaspoon salt and 3 or 4 grinds of black pepper; refrigerate 5 minutes to let the batter firm up.
Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Working in 2 batches (3 pancakes at a time), use a 1/4 cup measure to transfer the batter to the saute pan, pressing down on the mixture to form cakes about 41/4 inches wide and 11/4 inch thick.
Saute until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Drain on paper towels. Repeat with remaining batter, and serve with the garnishes.
-- Fine Cooking magazine, 2006
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