Recipes, when you don't write them down or follow them to the letter out of a cookbook, can be a little bit like the game of Telephone. You know, when one person whispers a short sentence to somebody else, who then whispers it — or what he thinks he heard — to the next person, and so on. At the end of the line of people, the last person says out loud what he heard. Which is how "What part of 'subpoena' don't you understand, Ms. Miers?" eventually becomes "Wet farts and penis-doodies, stinky big liars."
And so it is with zucchini. Are you wallowing in zucchini from your garden yet? No, me neither. It seems a little absurd to have a couple of sickly plants in the ground, here in mid-July, and find yourself having to buy some zukes at the market.
(Not that the guy selling them at the market thought it was absurd, and more power to him.)
But I had seen a dish of baked zucchini in the food section of my newspaper (I know, yuck, baked zucchini?) and I really wanted to eat some.
The author of the recipe originally tasted this dish in a restaurant, and then crafted her own version of it. So already the newspaper recipe wasn't "authentic" (and who knows where the restaurant got its idea from in the first place?).
Key words stuck in my mind: gruyere, cream, toasted chopped walnuts, breadcrumbs. Yeah! I was going to make the baked zucchini. Without the recipe.
In fact, I'll tell you up front that I added an egg to my version, to make it a little quiche-like.
Here's what else I'll tell you: Grated zucchini tossed with salt and allowed to drain (give 'em a squeeze). Stir it with all the other stuff except the breadcrumbs. Season to your liking (remember, it's already salty). Top with breadcrumbs, dots of butter and a shower of grated parmesan. Bake until it's just the way you like it.
I liked mine a lot.
Which is to say, "Harriet Miers should be held in contempt."