It happened again.
We got attacked by the Zucchini Monster. Somehow, when I wasn’t looking – he struck . . . dumped a whole pile of assorted zucchinis onto my poor unsuspecting plants.
I thought we could avoid him this year, but I must confess to being partly responsible. Somehow (yes, I know better), I happened to allow five (gulp, FIVE!) zucchini plants into my garden. The seeds looked so harmless, and the packets looked so interesting I needed to have some of the yellow ones, and some of the crookneck ones, and maybe a couple of the green ones, in case they – you know – maybe didn’t produce well this year (jeesh – what was I thinking?). Luckily I couldn’t find the seeds for the striped variety I planted last year as well, pretty as they were.
So now I have to deal with the ongoing aftermath of the nightly Zucchini Monster attacks. It is all-out war. Sometimes I almost think I am winning, as long as I pick them when they are cute and small, but then sometimes those @#%&*}!s get the worst of me, and the Z.M. slips in one of those massive baseball-bat-sized ones that I didn’t see coming. The battle is lost again!
We’ve been grilling a lot of the zucchini spoils, and sautéing them, and making ratatouille, and salads, and this great zucchini pie and these yummy zucchini fritters.
Take that, you Zucchini Monster!
What do you do with your zucchini booty? I’d love to know.
Kitchen Frau Notes: The zucchini pie is another great recipe from my friend Elsa (an excellent cook), and I’ve made it for years with regular flour. Only lately have I made it gluten-free. It turns out great. I like to use brown rice flour because it is a whole grain, but white rice flour would work, too. I find the gluten-free version needs a longer baking time – almost 50 to 55 minutes. Check to see if the center is fully puffed up and feels firm to the touch. It will settle down as it cools. It’s a bit like a crustless quiche, and wonderful as a meatless supper or lunch, served with a green salad.
Crustless Zucchini Pie
- 3 cups (720ml) grated zucchini
- 1 cup (240ml) flour (or 2/3 cup brown rice flour plus 1/3 cup potato starch or cornstarch)
- 1 teaspoon (5ml) baking powder
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 eggs
- 1/2 cup (120ml) oil (I use grapeseed oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) salt
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5ml) pepper
- 1 cup (240ml) grated cheddar (I use extra-old for flavour)
In a large bowl whisk together eggs, oil salt and pepper. Add flour and baking powder and stir just until moistened. Stir in zucchini, onion and grated cheese.
Spread into a greased 10-inch deep-dish pie pan or baking dish.
Bake at 350°F for 40 to 55 minutes, until starting to get golden brown at the edges and the center is fully puffed up. Insert a knife into the center and if it comes out clean, the pie is done.
Let cool 5 to 10 minutes before slicing.
Kitchen Frau Notes: These fritters are yummy served with leftover spaghetti sauce or tomato sauce to dip them into, as well as ranch dressing, or tzatziki, or serve them with a dollop of salsa or sour cream. Try varying the herbs in them – parsley or dill or cilantro – instead of the oregano and basil. Anything goes.
- 4 cups (1 litre) shredded zucchini
- 2 eggs
- ½ onion, finely minced
- 1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
- 1 cup (240ml) flour (or ¾ cup/180ml brown or white rice flour plus ¼ cup/60ml potato starch or cornstarch)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon/5ml dried)
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) chopped fresh basil (or 1 teaspoon/5ml dried)
- ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) salt
- ½ teaspoon (2.5ml) pepper
- oil for frying
- spaghetti sauce for serving (homemade or bottled)
Stir all ingredients together in a large bowl. (Mixture will get moister as it sits. That is okay- it will fry up just fine.)
Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a heavy skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, drop heaping tablespoons of the zucchini mixture into the pan and sauté til the underside is golden brown, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip over and cook the other side until golden brown, too.
Lay on a paper towel-lined plate to absorb any extra oil, then serve hot with the spaghetti sauce to dip them into.
Makes 16 to 20 quickly-devoured fritters.