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Zucchini breakthrough!

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Jenise

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Zucchini breakthrough!

by Jenise » Tue Oct 30, 2018 7:06 pm

A lot of people don't like zucchini. To many, it's tasteless. I tend to agree, but it's a healthy food so I do eat it while thinking it has nowhere near the flavor that yellow crook necks and patty pans do.

So last weekend I was making meatloaf with a zucchini side for a huge crowd. And as I stared at the 5 lbs of zucchinis on my cutting board I was at the crucial decision point--cut to spears and roast, or cut into rounds for a stove-top saute? I like the former best, but honestly didn't think I'd have the oven space for both zucchini and four meat loaves. And then I thought about color, how beautifully emerald the thin zucchini slices I prepare for vegetarian pizzas are because I dessicate them with salt prior to the bake. Then I thought, why not do that for a stovetop saute?

Indeed, m'lady, why not? So I did it. Salted in a colander to drain until the slices become pliable, then rinsing and pressing out every drop of moisture I could. Because the water's gone, the zucc slices sauteed very quickly in a wide and shallow 8 quart pot. In addition to having a pleasant thru-flavor of salt, the elimination of moisture concentrates the natural flavor and finds the hidden sweetness. Texture's greatly improved too--tender in the middle and crisp around the edges at the same time vs. the usual options of uniformly underdone or uniformly mush.

Here's what it looked like with the meat loaf:

zucchini.jpg
zucchini.jpg (91.46 KiB) Viewed 638 times
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov
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Robin Garr

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Re: Zucchini breakthrough!

by Robin Garr » Tue Oct 30, 2018 10:35 pm

I'm going to have to try this! I like zukes, but Mary does not, for exactly the reasons you stated. :)
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Jeff Grossman

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Re: Zucchini breakthrough!

by Jeff Grossman » Tue Oct 30, 2018 11:47 pm

Ditto here: I like 'em but Pumpkin does not (and for those reasons).
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Matilda L

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Re: Zucchini breakthrough!

by Matilda L » Sun Nov 25, 2018 4:48 am

I like zucchini, but I have the same objections to it anyway. It can be bland; it can so easily turn to mush. So I rarely prepare it as a vegetable on its own.

Slices of zucchini in a tomato sauce along with capsicum, onion, garlic, parsley make a nice pasta sauce or sauce to eat over meatloaf or rice or with a cheese omelette. Chunks of zucchini add a different texture to a stir-fry with a tangy Asian sauce.

Or, sometimes I steam it until it *is* mushy, and whiz it up in the blender, maybe with the addition of a steamed/boiled floury potato to give body, and some onion and garlic for tang, and it's a pleasant soup, finished off with a grind of black pepper. Back in the 80s, when we had big dinner parties, I used occasionally to make three pots of thick soup: potato, pumpkin, and zucchini. Then, to serve, a small ladle-full of each poured carefully into each bowl to form a tri-coloured bowl of soup. Irish Flag soup, if you will. (And if any guest stirred all the soups together it became an awful shade of khaki. Not an improvement.)
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Peter May

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Re: Zucchini breakthrough!

by Peter May » Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:40 pm

It's hard to juge the size of your zucchini, Jenise, but from the seeds they look quite large. As they grow so darn fast and are sold by weight, shops tend to have monsters pumped up with water.

Try them when they're finger sized and they're a different story. Our supermarket sometimes have bagged finger sized fruits alongside the loose bigguns.

At home I get the smallest I can and brown them cubed in oil before using them in ratatouille.

In my favourite restaurant I have them in batons fried in a light batter
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Jenise

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Re: Zucchini breakthrough!

by Jenise » Mon Nov 26, 2018 9:15 pm

Peter May wrote:It's hard to judge the size of your zucchini, Jenise, but from the seeds they look quite large. As they grow so darn fast and are sold by weight, shops tend to have monsters pumped up with water.


Peter, these were about an inch and a quarter in diameter which in America is fairly standard grocery store size--I'll always choose the narrower ones because I prefer the look. Grocery stores here never sell marrows, btw, but in my area people love them and farm stands always have plenty of "Big Zucchini".

I love the little ones too, but little or the size I've shown here makes less difference to me than freshness. Fresher is sweeter.
My wine shopping and I have never had a problem. Just a perpetual race between the bankruptcy court and Hell.--Rogov

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