Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Zucchini in Full Bloom!!

Zucchini is one of summer's most popular bounties. Home gardeners know it is so easy to cultivate, so plentiful and hardy, in addition to being healthy, it's a great savory dish! I thought it would be refreshing to surf the blogs for some innovative and interesting spins on what everyone else does with zucchini!

Overly enthusiastic gardeners harvest zucchini in bushels. Even our super markets, produce markets, and farmer's markets are spilling over with summer squash! What to do with all that bounty? Cooking With Michele has a great way to make buckets of zucchini disappear in a truly delicious fashion... Baked Zucchini Chips! Slow baking seasoned zucchini slices that can be stored in a container for an oh so healthy snack is a great way to savor summer zucchini!

The summer flavors of corn and zucchini are a match made in culinary heaven. I particularly love this recipe because it has just the right balance of seasonings that don't overpower the delicacy of the corn or the zucchini. And who doesn't love the texture that something fried can yield! This recipe for corn and zucchini fritters is brought to us by the courtesy of Palate/Palette/Plate and they call them Summer Fritters and this recipe has a genius ingredient of chopped chick peas that give the fritter structure, served with a dollop of Greek yogurt for summer produce in all its glory! Definitely one to try!

Shredded zucchini has found its way into cakes, muffins, biscuits and quick breads...experienced cooks well aware of the added moisture and texture it brings to baked goods without masking flavor. No better representation that these Zucchini Cheddar Drop Biscuits, brought to us by A Cozy Kitchen and what a way to greet a Sunday morning with cheddar/zucchini biscuits...although we don't have to limit this to breakfast. These biscuits will delight the table at any meal. Simple and straight to the point. Whip them up in minutes!

Thanks to Prairies on Petals we have a great recipe for "fried" zucchini sticks, actually baked zucchini fries. Zucchini does the same thing egg plant will do SUCK UP OIL! It can ruin itself and create a greasy mess. This is oven "fried" but this smart cook added sesame seeds to the bread crumbs for added crunch and bolster the "crisp" factor in the oven. Some cayenne pepper and parmesan cheese add a pop of flavor. I used a misto to disperse the oil over the "fries" before they went into a screaming hot (480ºF) oven. On another note, Prairies and Petals has some amazing photography and that alone is worth a trip to this website.

Well here's another take on a fritter, The Zucchini With Garlic Fritter. Zucchini marries well with garlic and parmesan cheese...Oops, this recipe doesn't call for parmesan cheese, however, I managed to add 1/2 cup coarsely grated parmesan cheese, reduced the flour down to 1/4 cup, then doubled the chopped garlic. It bumped this recipe up a few notches! I loved using this photo though because it shows that these fritters are not flat like pancakes. Thanks to Sugar 'n Pickles for the inspiration to adapt the recipe and they were inspired by Suni Vijayakar...etc., etc., etc. This is so much more interesting than a "cake" because the chunky texture of the zucchini is a big part of the appeal, when blended with garlic and cheese this wins all the way around.

And no collection of zucchini recipes would be complete without the queenly blossom! Prized by chefs, restaurants and home cooks, the blossom is fragile, temporary and utterly worth saving, cooking and relishing! These Zucchini Flowers Stuffed With Bocconcini and Lemon are stuffed with a fresh unripened cheese studded with lemon zest and fresh herbs, and as the author attests, worth all the effort!

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