Sunday, January 22, 2012

Zucchini City

Well, it's no great achievement to grow a few zucchinis. They are the most forgiving of the summer veggies. I even water mine overhead and they don't seem to fall victum to fungal attacks until well into the hot weather.
Picking them when they are the size you want is another matter entirely. It's almost like if you don't get time to harvest in the morning, by evening they are too large!
I read somewhere that each little zuc has the same number of 'flavour cells' in each one, so when they get enormous, they just don't taste nearly as nice. Small and tender they are lovely in salads or pickled. Up to 30cm (1ft for you imperial people) they are great for fritters and the like. And over 30cm, I reckon forget it.
I picked this lot from the garden and found I had some feta in the fridge. This is such a great standby as it keeps for months in a vac-pack and is useful for lots of vegetarian stuff like filo pies, pasta and salads. Here's my favourite little fritter to use up all those zuccs - they are also lovely cold.
Zucchini Feta & Mint Fritters
3-4 20-30cm zucchini
1 leek or bunch of spring onions sliced
2-3 cloves garlic crushed
3 tbls wheat or potaoe flour
2 eggs
100g feta
1/2 cup of chopped parsely
and nearly as much mint

Grate the zucchini by hand or in the food processor, while you saute the leek or onion in 2 tbls oil . After 5 min add the garlic and zucchini. Cook down slowly on a gentle heat stirring occassionally. When its nice and soft (about 10-15 mins) take it off and drain the liquid out through a colander or coarse sieve. Squeeze a little to get rid of excess moisture. Return to the pan and sprinkle over the flour and half the herbs and cook through quickly, stirring for a few mins. Then let it cool right down in the fridge.
Lightly beat the eggs and add to zucchini mix with the cubed or crumbled feta, last half of the herbs & pepper. Stir through gently, cover and let it get really cold before shaping into fritters and frying in a non-stick pan with a little oil if needed.
I serve these with a simple avocado, cue, tomato salsa dressed with lemon juice, chilli sauce and basil.

I didn't have much mint in the garden (it has got a little dried out) so I made up the difference with Thai Basil.

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