Friday, 3 January 2014

Zucchini Madness!

In my vegetable garden I planted zucchini plants quite early, so before Christmas I had already picked quite a few zucchinis. Now they seem to be growing overnight and each morning there are lots of new ones to pick. Every year I remind myself to only put in one plant, but then I get worried in case something happens to it and I have no zucchinis at all.

Friends and neighbours have been recipients of my zucchinis for many years but even they get to the point when they say enough is enough, this is madness! So I am on the hunt to find new recipes for my ever increasing zucchini supply and to keep everyone happy.

In the past I have made cakes, fritters, loaves, pickles, chutney, stuffed zucchinis and soup and I am now searching for new food combinations. If you have a favourite zucchini recipe, please share it with me. Just a brief outline of the dish is fine or you can include the whole recipe. The best of these I will add to this blog over the next few weeks. I hope to find time to try out some new stuffing recipes and I will of course add them here to help out any other over supplied households.

Ok, here are some zucchini questions. Test yourself and see how much you know about  this versatile vegetable. (answers at the end of this post) No cheating!!!

1. What plant family does the zucchini belong to?  a) Rose  b) Cucurbita c) Legumes

2. How many calories does 1 zucchini have?   a) 40    b) 120   c) 25

3. A zucchini has more potassium than a banana? True or False?

4. The Male flower carries the fruit?  True or False?

5. Zucchinis are   a) Orange     b) Green   c) Yellow    d) All of these colours

Check your answers after this recipe.

Beautiful flowers of the Zucchini plant, bring a ray of sunshine into the garden. 

Today I am sharing a recipe which is easy to make and you can add or subtract other ingredients according to what you have in your fridge. Be creative, but keep the basic recipe and you will have a tasty dish to eat hot or cold. This recipe has goat cheese and I must confess that I am not a big fan of goat cheese at all. I keep tasting it in the hope that I will eventually come to love it, but to me it tastes too much of the goat!!!! In this recipe the cheeses blend in really well and are not too goaty at all. I used Sutton Grange Organic Farm, Holy Goat La Luna. 

Zucchini, Asparagus and Goat's Cheese Loaf

Ingredients - Oven temperature 180 C degrees fan forced

1 bunch asparagus trimmed
3 Small to medium zucchinis grated
1 Onion finely chopped
1 cup Self raising flour
4 Large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 Cup tasty cheese grated
1/2 Cup frozen peas
1/4 Cup olive oil
Juice of half a lemon
Grated rind of 1 lemon
1/2 Bunch of fresh mint
Handful of flat leaf parsley chopped
100g Goats cheese, broken into small pieces
Salt and pepper
  • Grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
  • Blanch/steam asparagus for 2 minutes and plunge into cold water and dry off with a tea towel.
  • Cut the asparagus in half and retaining the spear ends, chop the remainder of it.
  • In a large mixing bowl add flour,onion, chopped asparagus, eggs, salt and pepper, goat and tasty cheeses, herbs, oil, lemon zest and lemon juice, peas. Mix together and spoon into your prepared loaf tin. Smooth the top and lay the retained spears across the top forming a nice pattern.
  • Bake in pre heated oven for 45 - 50 minutes, until nicely browned on the top. 
  • Allow to cool slightly before removing from the tin by lifting the baking paper. Serves 6 - 8. Eat hot or cold and it is only 250 calories per slice.

1. Cucurbita, 2. 25 calories, 3. True, 4. False - the female flower has the fruit. The male flowers are the ones used for cooking. 5. d - you can get them in all of these colours plus variegated ones.

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