Good squash: how to make the most of the zoodles donuts zoodles season – recipe | life and style

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Come summer, whether you’re a market gardener, strolling through farmers’ markets, or looking for store specials, it’s all coming zucchini or zucchini, depending on who you ask.

Depending on how much heat you apply, how much acid or salt you add to break it down, or what starch you bind it with, zucchini sits on a continuum of freshness and density. Its spongy texture and fairly neutral flavor mean that its role in a dish is less to enhance taste and more to help build body. Just call him Arnold Gourdzenegger.

The Alice Zaslavsky method for better zoodles

Some people are wary of spiralized zucchini, but I remain proudly curious. My favorite way to use them is as half and half – half actual pasta or noodles and half zucchini. This way, it lightens the carb-to-veggie ratio, adds more color to your dish, and provides a delicious interplay of al dente and al squash-ente.

Some people blanch the zoodles, but I prefer to boil them. Put the zoodles in the colander that is about to catch your cooked pasta and pour the contents of the entire pot over it. Toss with the olive oil and your pasta sauce and serve.

If your dish is made entirely of zoodles, simply pour a kettle of boiling water over them to scald them. Pouring your hot sauce over the raw zoodle will give you an al-dente result.

Spiralizers don’t have to be heavy electrical accessories either. My favorite kind is like a giant pencil sharpener, with two straps to choose from. Always choose the widest noodle for scalding and save the leaner version for spiral zucchini pieces to toss into stir-fries, fritters or salads. For salads, the acid in your dressing will “cook” the noodles just enough to soften them.

From left to right: zucchini pickles, zoodles and zucchini fritters. Photography: Benjamin Dearnley/Murdoch Books

Zucchini pickles

Speaking of sweetening with an acid, marinating zucchini slices turns them into little sponges for all the flavors you add. My buddy’s mom, Margaret, won first prize at the Maldon show with this mustard zucchini pickle, so you might have similar success. Use a crinkle cutter to get it funky, or slice on a mandolin to about 2mm thickness.

Makes 3x250g jars

1 kg of medium zucchini, washed and sliced
500g medium sized salad onionsminced
2 cups of white vinegar (500 ml)
½ teaspoon ground turmeric
2 teaspoons curry powder
2 teaspoons mustard powder
(Margaret uses Keen)
1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoons of salt
1 teaspoon of cornstarch
1 cup raw sugar (220g)

Sauté the zucchini and onion in a large saucepan with half the vinegar. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, mix half of the remaining vinegar with the turmeric, curry powder, mustard powder, mustard seeds and salt. Mash into a smooth paste.

Add the cornstarch and sugar to the last vinegar and stir with a fork to incorporate well. Pour this mixture into the simmering zucchini, bring back to the boil and stir for about five minutes, until the mixture thickens.

Stir in the mustard paste, lower the heat again and simmer for five minutes.

Pour into sterilized jars and store in the refrigerator. The pickles will keep best for up to a month, then slowly begin to soften.

Zucchini fritters free for all

These donuts continue to take the internet by storm, after I first shared them on ABC TV’s News Breakfast. What I love about these donuts is that they’re gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, and nut-free, making them an absolute free for anyone on a diet. Not only is chickpea flour (aka besan) gluten-free, it also behaves like an egg when enough liquid is added. While many donut recipes call for you to squeeze excess moisture from zucchini before frying, here I’m harnessing its moisture to help everything bind together. Also saves washing a bright green kitchen towel.

Makes 12–15 donuts

400g zucchiniabout 3-4 medium size
½ small red onion
1 teaspoon of salt flakes,
more extra to serve
1 cup chickpea flour (110g), plus extra if needed
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons of olive oil
sea ​​salt flakes, to sprinkle

Using the coarse side of a box grater, grate the zucchini and onion into a bowl large enough to hold all the mixture. Sprinkle the salt flakes on top and stir, squeezing everything together to encourage the zucchini to start flowing. Let the mixture sit for 5 to 10 minutes.

Spread the chickpea flour over the top, rubbing it between your fingers to break up any lumps. (Yes, you can sift, but I like to be practical here.) Sprinkle with baking powder and stir with a spatula until well incorporated. The mixture should resemble pancake batter. If it seems a little loose, sprinkle another tablespoon of chickpea flour.

Heat two tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once it starts to shimmer, add heaped tablespoons of the mixture in a clockwise direction, so you can remember which donut should be flipped first.

Flip as the bottoms turn golden brown, which will take three to four minutes. Once both sides are cooked, drain on paper towel, sprinkle with salt flakes while hot.

Serve immediately. If you’re not eating them right away, let them cool, then refrigerate. These will keep well in the fridge for four to five days.

Alice Zaslavsky's roasted zucchini with butter crumbs.
Alice Zaslavsky’s roasted zucchini with butter crumbs. Photography: Benjamin Dearnley/Murdoch Books

Roasted zucchini with butter crumbs

Zucchini is sometimes seen as a little player, but here they are the main act. This recipe is especially handy if you’re growing your own and find one overgrown in the undergrowth. Remember that the larger the zucchini, the longer the cooking time. It will work like a big roast with a marrow, but as fermentation king Sandor Katz always says: flavor peaks halfway through. As the zucchini grows, the flavor mellows out, so be very generous with the seasoning and cheese.

Serves 4

6 small to medium zucchini
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
½ cup currants (75g)
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
½ cup of parsley,
coarsely chopped
60g of parmesanfinely grated (preferably with a microplane)

Butter crumbs
100g of butter,
more salt and pepper to taste
1½ cup sourdough breadcrumbs or panko breadcrumbs (75g)

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.

Cut each zucchini in half lengthwise. Use a teaspoon to scoop out the meaty center that also houses the seeds (aka “zucchini guts”), saving them for later.

Brush the cut side of the courgettes with a little olive oil and sprinkle with salt flakes. Place the zucchini on the baking sheets, cut side down, and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, flip each zucchini in half and cook for another 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the buttery breadcrumbs, use your fingers to rub the butter into the breadcrumbs. Stir in salt and pepper to taste.

Book cover of The Joy of Better Cooking by Alice Zaslavsky
Photography: Murdoch Books

Once the zucchini halves are out of the oven, pour in the butter crumbs. Feel free to cram the mix – the height is good, as is a bit of overhang. Return pan to oven for an additional 10 minutes or until topping is golden brown and crispy.

Meanwhile, sauté the reserved zucchini entrails in the remaining olive oil over medium heat for five minutes, then add the currants and sauté for another five minutes, or until the raisins are tender. currants and the entrails of the courgettes have softened. Turn off the heat, sprinkle with lemon juice, stir in the chopped parsley and season with salt and pepper.

Spread the mixture on the bottom of a serving dish. Arrange the breaded zucchini on top. Finish with grated parmesan, lemon zest and a drizzle of olive oil.

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