There are those who think that I am strange as I have always liked zucchini’s. I will state my case here and you can decide for yourselves. I’m hoping to convert some non-believers!
Zucchini’s are such a versatile (and under-rated) vegetable. They are easy to grow in either full sun or semi-shade and in the area that I live, can be grown all year round.
They are a member of the marrow family and both the vegetable and the zucchini flower can be eaten. Zucchini’s are delicious served simply as a raw, grated vegetable, added to a tossed salad, or as elaborately as the flowers being stuffed and deep fried.
The vegetables should be picked when still quite small, no more than 10cm in length. This is when they have the best flavour and it also encourages the growth of more vegetables. On average, a plant will yield up to 40 zucchini’s per season.
Zucchini’s have a rather subtle taste and a slightly crunchy texture. They should not be over cooked as this will make them “mushy” and watery.
Zucchini’s can be washed, (no need to peel!), sliced and cooked for 3-4 minutes in boiling water, tossed in butter or olive oil and served as a side vegetable. For extra crunch and flavour, garlic, soy sauce and sesame seeds can also be added.
Alternatively, zucchini’s can be sliced, sprinkled with salt and left to drain for 1 hour (2 teaspoons salt per 500g zucchini). Pat slices dry with kitchen towel and deep fry.
Knowing my affinity with zucchini’s, my mother passed on this recipe to me after it was given to her by a friend. I have enjoyed making this zucchini slice for many years. It is perfect for a light weekend lunch, at any time of the year.
3 cups grated zucchini (4-6 depending on size)
1 large onion, finely chopped
3 rashers bacon, finely chopped
1 cup (125 g) grated cheese
1 cup self-raising flour
Fresh parsley, basil, oregano and rosemary (to taste) chopped
Pepper to taste
1 vegetable stock cube
½ cup milk
Combine zucchini, onion, bacon, cheese, flour, herbs and crumbled stock cube in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, lightly beat eggs and combine with milk.
Fold the egg mixture through the zucchini mixture, combining well.
Pour mixture into a large, well greased quiche plate and bake for 35-40 minutes at 180 degrees C, or until set.
Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.