Thursday, July 12, 2007

Zucchini Telephone

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."


dancingmorganmouse said...

Yum. We swim in zucchini every summer (I simply cannot restrict myself to 1 or 2 plants) and am always looking for somthing new to do with them. Ta.

Dagny said...

I'll be sure to direct Laurie of Crazy Aunt Purl your way as she apparently is swimming in zucchini. Your recipe sounds delicious.

Chelee said...

Is this your OLS dish? It looks delicious.

OLS West

Zoomie said...

She _is_ held in contempt - for being stupid enough to work for that Post Turtle.

cookiecrumb said...

DMM: Aw. It's not summer where you are. Anyway, hold on to this "recipe." I liked it.

Dagny: I ain't swimming yet. But I'd love to go visit Aunt Purl. Thanks for that.

Chelee: Not yet! I'll mark it when I do, and message you. This one -- the gruyere knocked it out of local.

Zoomie: For fun, here's a read you'd enjoy.

KathyF said...

My favorite recipes have been ones where I was just winging it, riffing off something I ate somewhere or saw. Lately I've been perusing veg restaurant menus from the U.S., where they're much more creative with food than here.

And yes to that bit about Harriet.

Gaurav said...

Good ..
Hey You can view my Blog its also Good

Ed Bruske said...

I'm still looking for a bake squash dish (not necessarily zucchini) that does not contain cheese, cream or Ritz crackers. Am I barking up the wrong squash?

El said...

You know, almost no recipe can be wrong that includes gruyere, cream, egg and breadcrumbs, IMHO.

No executive privilege required, either.

ChrisB said...

That sounds very good to me- another recipe to add to my repertoire!! I might just try it out on Beccy when she comes next week. I quite like adding raw grated zucchini (courgette to us) to a salad.

Sean said...

Did you say, "Hairy yet my years shibby hell tin can hemp?"

katiez said...

I had to buy one today, too. I was so embarrased. I hope none of the neighbors saw me.
I just thought: It's July! I should be eating zucchini! Now I are!
Like your baked thingy...

kudzu said...

When I saw the title I thought perhaps you were making a zucchini version of "telefonini", the riace balls filled with mozzarella and breaded and deep fried that string out when you bite into them (like telephone wires). There's a challenge for you! I like the baked squash, though -- it's very homey. (Do you have a route for leaving zucchini on doorsteps in the dead of night?)

cookiecrumb said...

KathyF: You just need to open your mind. Go all Beatles on it. Come up with fun new ideas.

Gaurav: Yo! Will do.

Ed: Sadly, you may be *baking* up the wrong tree. Most baked squash recipes want to "adhere." But if you forgo that, I can imagine a bake of squash, tomatoes, basil, even dried bread rounds... You just gotta watch out for the wetness.

El: I would veto that, or do a signing statement... Except, you're right. xx

ChrisB: Welcome home from vacation, and I'm pleased you like the sound of this recipe.
I love the idea of your grated raw courgettes in salad!

Sean: Shibby! You rascal.

Katie: We shall not be denied our rightful summer squash, eh?

Kudzu: I learn so, so much from you. Wow. Thanks.
As for divesting oneself of rogue zucchini, surely you've heard of wandering through a church parking lot, looking for open car windows? Yeah, deposit a few on the seats. "Manna."

Tana said...

Y'all should try zucchini fritters.

You will eat them again and again...and again. How can you go wrong with feta and batter?

cookiecrumb said...

Tana: OK!!

tammy said...

Did you know that not a single one of my zucchini seeds sprouted? Not one out of a dozen. I guess no fried zucchini blossoms for me.