Pricey Helen: Assist! I’m swamped with zucchini and don’t suppose I can eat any extra except I can discover a couple of new methods of utilizing them. What do you do with an over-abundance of zucchinis?
I’m listening to the identical plea from neighbours whose crops, like yours and mine, exploded into productiveness with the warmth this summer season. Listed here are a couple of concepts I’ve been passing alongside to them.
• Choose zucchinis younger, simply 10 to 12 cm. lengthy or perhaps a bit smaller. My father cherished consuming child zucchinis, simply barely cooked or uncooked in salads. He additionally used them for dipping. I’ve been having fun with them sliced lengthwise, browned in butter in a coated pan, turned, and drizzled with recent lemon juice and salt.
• Supply extra zucchinis to neighbours with out gardens, and/or take some to your native meals financial institution.
• Zucchini is a surprisingly nice, shortly ready dinner vegetable lower in chunks, flippantly steamed and dotted with butter. It’s an ideal light-textured, mild-flavoured foil to heavier substances in a meal, akin to meat and potato.
• Minimize into items, very flippantly steam-blanched and cooled shortly over ice packs, zucchini is an excellent frozen vegetable for winter meals. I found this years in the past on a go to with my dad and mom in Sidney, when my mom took a container of her backyard’s zucchini out of the freezer to incorporate in a dinner.
• Usually, as summer season progresses, it’s inevitable that some zucchinis are neglected and develop with alarming velocity into the dimensions of the household canine. These overgrown ones present me with a favorite winter deal with. I exploit my large wok to fry onion and garlic flippantly earlier than including the chopped zucchini and water or vegetable broth. As soon as the greens are cooked tender, I cool the combination somewhat earlier than pureeing it with an immersion blender. I pack the cooled zucchini puree into containers and freeze. In winter, heated with milk or cream, it’s a beautifully soothing and satisfying soup. Consolation meals.
• One other straightforward technique to flip a big zucchini right into a consolation meal is to separate it lengthwise, scoop out the seed cavity, fill it with floor beef and onion, and bake.
• In summer season, tasty, wholesome snacks are helpful for a fast lunch or a small chunk to eat with a cup of afternoon tea. Right here’s a fast and straightforward recipe.
Zucchini and Cheese Squares
3 crushed eggs
1 cup complete wheat or spelt flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 cup milk
4 cups sliced zucchini
2 cups damaged up or cubed feta or cheddar cheese
Sprint of scorching sauce (elective)
Pine nuts or sesame seeds for topping
Mix baking powder with flour and add with milk to eggs. Whisk easy. Add zucchini, cheese, and scorching sauce for those who like to boost in any other case pretty mild-tasting meals. Pour into an oblong pan 23 by 33 cm. Older pans can be recognized as 9 by 13 inches. Both oil the pan or line it with parchment paper first. High with seeds or nuts. Bake at 375 F for 25 to half-hour. High must be golden and puffy.
Variations: Relying on the season and what’s producing nicely within the backyard, kale or broccoli might be substituted for zucchini. Toppings can embrace grated parmesan, sliced black olives, or/and candy crimson pepper slices.
Pricey Helen: My potted Tumbler tomatoes are flavourless and mushy this yr. They have been at all times tasty earlier than. Why?
An excessive amount of water may cause mushiness. Let a prime three cm of soil dry between waterings. Excessive fluctuations in temperature may cause a deterioration in texture and flavour high quality. Think about rising a couple of tomato selection for potting annually, as a method of discovering out that are most resilient and fine-tasting in your rising situations..
Weekend column. I’ll be taking a relaxation from writing the Saturday column for the upcoming vacation weekend. Could you all relish the break in routine as you benefit from the fruits of your gardening efforts.
Plant sale. The Compost Training Centre, 1216 North Park St. in Victoria, is holding its Annual August Natural Plant Sale on Saturday, Aug. 7, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., exterior the centre’s demonstration website. Seven native farmers can be providing all kinds of over-wintering, organically grown vegetable transplants in addition to perennial fruiting crops and herb seedlings. There can be reside music, and extra.
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