Zucchini, zucchini, and more zucchini!!!
If you have ever grown zucchini in your home garden you may already know what a prolific fruit producing plant they are, if not, be prepared for an onslaught of zucchini in the very near future.
Zucchinis, also known as courgettes, are lovers of hot weather, and once the heat hits, they go crazy producing the fruit that we call zucchini. We actually eat the immature fruit of the plant, as the seeds inside are very small and undeveloped. They are a member of the squash or curcurbit family, and fall into the category of “summer squash”, also meaning they are of “New World” descent (as are all squashes, including pumpkins, patty pans, crooknecks, and winter squash). But the zucchini varieties we eat today were developing in Italy, hence the word “zucchini” to describe them. In Italian the word zucchini means little squash.
Over the next few months CSA members can expect a whole lot of zucchinis from the PEAS Farm, and you may ask “How in the heck am I supposed to use of these little squashes?” Since zucchini doesn’t store long, 3 or so days in the fridge, you have to act relatively fast. So, aside from grilling zukes or making zucchini bread, there are many other ways to use all the wonderful zucchini fruits coming your way. One is the French dish ratatouille, which is a wonderful stew of summer veggies. You can also bread and pan fry your zukes. My favorite way is zucchini fritters, here’s the way my mom taught me to make them:
Shred the zucchini using a coarse cheese shedder, then squeeze out the extra water with your hands. For every two shredded zukes add one large, beaten egg. In a large bowl, mix eggs and shredded zukes, and add salt, pepper, and garlic (I add lots of garlic!) to taste. Heat a non-stick pan between medium and medium high, and add one tablespoon of olive oil. Scoop out about two tablespoons of your fritter mix and put into the pan, flattening with a pancake turner. Brown on each side (about 2-3 minutes per side), being careful not to burn. Serve as an app, side or main dish. I like to spread pesto on mine after they are cooked! So good!
Also, for any poetry lovers out there, here is a poem about the barrage of zucchinis coming your way: http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/attack-of-the-squash-people/