Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Summer Vegetables

Last week, it finally happened.

This:


turned into these:


and this:


turned into these:



The zucchini, carrots, spring onion, chives, and coriander have all become full-grown, ready to eat veggies and spices. (The tomatoes aren't going to be ready for another month or so. And the peppers, well, who was I kidding, trying to grow peppers in Norway of all cold places?)

So lately, around dinner time, I've been taking a stroll outside to the vegetable garden to see what veggies to use that day. It's a dream come true.

I've been saving up recipes I've wanted to make for months now. In all the cookbooks, it seems like it's a general consensus that people everywhere are annoyed by the fact that gardens produce a lot of summer squash. In one, it says "With this recipe, there will be no reason to complain about there being too much zucchini." Another says, "A great way to use up all that zucchini in your garden!" Like it's a PROBLEM that there's all this wonderful, amazing zucchini around. Like there are people all over the world actually throwing away perfectly good summer squash because they just haven't got a clue what to do with it. HOW EVER will they get rid of the HEADACHE that is home grown summer vegetables!?

Some people are silly.

So silly people, fret no more, for I have been going wild trying out recipes packed with zucchini and carrots and coriander since last week. Here are the best so far.

*****

Carrot and Coriander Muffins

I got this recipe out of a book called "1 batter, 100 muffins" that I got from some friends for my birthday. I'm so psyched about this book- some of the others I'm dying to try are chocolate peppermint muffins, orange, walnut, and rosemary muffins, and stilton and pear muffins. But now: carrot and coriander muffins, with carrots and coriander from the garden!


300 g flour
1 Ts baking powder
1/8 ts salt
freshly ground black pepper
200 g grated carrots
2.5 dl milk
6 Ts sunflower oil
3 Ts chopped fresh coriander

Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Grease a muffin pan. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, and pepper in a big bowl. Combine with carrots. In another bowl, beat eggs. Stir in milk, oil, and coriander. Add to flour mixture. Stir until just combined. Distribute batter among the 12 spaces in the muffin pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, until risen, golden brown, and firm to touch.

*****

Summer Vegetable Soup

This soup is from one of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks, the famous Moosewood Cookbook by Mollie Katzen.

2 large potatoes, diced
1 cup fresh peas (I used green beans)
Kernels from 2 ears of corn
1 medium onion
2 medium carrots, diced into cubes
1 cup diced broccoli
1 green pepper, diced
2 zucchinis, diced
3 Ts butter
2 cups water
1 quart (liter) milk, warmed
1 1/2 ts salt
1/4 ts pepper
fresh thyme (I used coriander from the garden)

Cook potatoes in 2 cups water until soft. Mash together with cooking water. Add peas (or green beans) and corn to the mixture. Heat butter in a pan and cook onions with salt. Add each of the other vegetables in the order they're listed above, sautéing about 8 minutes after each. When all the veggies are cooked, add to potato mixture. Slowly add warm milk to soup. Add seasonings to taste. Don't bring to a boil, just heat. Serve nice and warm!

*****

Lasagne with Zucchini, Ricotta, and Tomato Sauce

This recipe is from a cookbook called "Vegetarian Suppers from Deborah Madison's Kitchen". It is very seriously an amazing recipe, rich and yummy with ricotta and walnuts.

3-4 cups tomato sauce (Make from scratch or use store-bought and add fresh tomatoes when heating)
1 pound ricotta
Freshly ground salt and pepper
2 1/2 pounds zucchini
olive oil
1 pack no-boil lasagne noodles
1 cup chopped walnuts (or pine nuts)
1/2 pound (fresh) mozzarella, grated
1 cup freshly grated parmesan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then cut into thin diagonal slices. Heat some oil in a nonstick pan. Add zucchini and cook over medium-high heat, turning often until glistening, about 5 minutes. Spread 1/5 of the tomato sauce in the baking pan, cover with a layer of noodles. Then 1/3 of the ricotta, 1/3 of the nuts, 1/3 of the zucchini. Drizzle with salt and pepper, then cover with 1/5 more of of the tomato sauce, some mozzarella and parmesan. Start with another layer of noodles and repeat twice. Cover the top layer of noodles with tomato sauce and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan. Spread a layer of foil over and bake for about 40 minutes, removing the foil 5-10 minutes before it's done. Let rest for a few minutes before serving.

2 comments:

Mary said...

Thank you for posting these wonderful recipes. I have two friends that plant zucchini and then go on vacation leaving me behind to water and harvest their vegetables while they are away. Each year these zucchini go uneaten and some if not spotted grow to enormous sizes. Last year to get my concern about this across I made a lamp out of one of the 2 foot zucchinis. First I sliced off the base of the wide end of the zucchini, I removed the socket end of an extention cord pushed it into the flesh of the fruit and then after standing it up, I placed a lamp shade on top. Of course this should not be taken seriously and the lamp should never be plugged in. My point is that I am very grateful for your recipes and that it provides the answer to my question..WHY ZUCCHINI?

Natalya said...

I would love to see a picture of a 2 foot zucchini! It's absolutely INSANE how fast zucchini grows. Fantastic, actually.