Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Zucchinis Take Over The World by Gardener Janet

(Note: I wrote this article just before the terrible storm that so devastated gardens in central Jeffco. I’m so sorry for those who have lost their gardens for the year. For those of you who missed the devastation, read on. For those who lost your veggies, like all gardeners everywhere, I am happy to share.)

Every year we plant them….every year we give them away by the shopping bag….What to do with all those zucchinis. Belonging to the species Cucurbita pepo, the prolific zucchini is wonderful sautéed in olive oil with onions, tomatoes, oregano and a little parmesan cheese.

While we were away on vacation, my very thoughtful neighbors have been harvesting in our absence and now, magically, there are loaves of zucchini bread in the freezer and still plenty of zucchinis left to enjoy.

So when you are tired of a side of sautéed zucchini on your plate every night, and the freezer is packed with enough zucchini bread (chocolate or otherwise) to last through the winter (and beyond) and the zucchinis are still producing, try zucchini pancakes. Pancakes easily use a large quantity of zucchini in a single recipe and are a great idea for when those zuchs get just a bit on the large size while hiding under a giant leaf.

Zucchini Pancakes

(this is a very adaptable recipe…double it, triple it, halve it depending on how much zucchini you have)

3 cups of grated zucchini (one large…but not gigantic zucchini)
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 TBSP minced fresh rosemary leaves (adjust depending on your preference)
1 cup flour
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
Salt and pepper to taste

I use a food processor to first chop the onion, then change to a grating blade and grate the zucchini.

Mix the flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Whisk the eggs. Add beaten eggs to the zucchini and onions and rosemary. Then add the flour and baking powder mixture. Stir until well blended. Let stand while heating a pancake griddle (or frying pan). Grease griddle or pan with several teaspoons of olive oil.

Mixture will initially seem quite stiff, but the moisture in the zucchini will then increase while you are waiting for the griddle/pan to heat and the mixture will become more pancake batter like.

Stir again, then spoon out mixture and cook until browned and crisp on both sides.

These are always a big hit at our house, and we typically have extra mouths at the table when they are served!

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