Friday, 23 March 2012

Z is for zucchini or C for Courgette

It's been a while since I last made a post... we have had a sick baby with tonsillitis, away for a long weekend to Jervis Bay and visited both sets of grandparents, not forgetting that I am back to work part-time (but doing a full-time workload)! But I suspect this is only the start of things to come now that I am a mother. My multi-tasking skills have definitely increased significantly in the past 9 months.

Now back to task...

As I align myself with being more"Italian" than "French" - we call them zucchini's in our house. Now this alignment is purely imaginary - we have no relatives of either variety in our family and I can not speak either language. However I could imagine myself living in Tuscany or near Lake Como in a villa, with a beautiful garden and a large table full of friends and family sharing delicious meals

This year we brought a four pack of Lebanese zucchini's. This time around I got them in the garden as soon as I walked through the door (I have  a habit of buying punnet of seedlings and forgetting about them until they are all wilted and almost dead - needless to say I waste a lot of money on delightful little seedlings that never result in produce). After less than 2 days in the garden our chickens (Nugget and Zinger) and destroyed half the crop - a good thing that they have those funny little furry bits on them once they get bigger (our chickens wont touch them once they are about 30 cm). 

After much contemplation and with Andrew reminding me that zucchinis are not his most favourite vegetables we decided to stick with just our 2 plants.  And this was a a very good thing, because we have had the most abundant crop ever! Turn your back for a few days and they grow to be massive. And the best thing about growing them is that they require minimal love and fertiliser (we don't add anything to ours).

This season the Hegerty house has feasted on stuffed flowers, zucchini soup, frittas, zucchini chips, and the most favourite of all - fritters! So far every version of our fritters have been different from the combination of ingredients to the way I have cooked them: some like pancakes, others shallow fried and some deep fried to crisp little parcels of goodness (not too sure about the health impact though). However they need to all be served with a minted yogurt dressing and lemon.

 So our top 3 zucchini recipes for the summer: 
  1. Zucchini fritters with feta and ricotta - the tip here is the split the eggs and beat the whites until they are stiff and fold them through. I combine the concepts from the  zucchini pattie and the zucchini and fetta fritters recipes from Stephanie Alexanders Cooks Companion  to make my own version (s) - based on the ingredients I have in the house at the time. 
  2. Mini zucchini pancakes with cream cheese and salmon - perfect canape or breakfast treat
  3. Stuffed zucchini flowers with a crispy tempura batter... yum! (Kitchen Garden Companion)
And a good standby for when you are feeling lazy and the warmth of summer has disappeared Zucchini and Mint Soup with Flat Bread. And even making the flat bread is not hard - Easy Flat Bread Recipe.

Until next time


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