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Cook-Off 63: Summer Squash

Vegetarian Cookoff

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#61 David Ross

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 06:02 PM

If you're looking for unique squash cutters, head to a local Asian grocery store.  I've acquired probably around 50 different vegetable and fruit cutters during travels to San Francisco, Portland, Vancouver and Seattle and points in between.  Most are incredibly cheap compared to vegetable peelers/cutters you'd find at a National chain store and they offer a variety of unusual cutting blades. lf you can find a tiny melon baller, they are wonderful for cutting balls of zucchini.  You get both the green skin and lighter color of the inside of the zucchini in a little ball.  Wonderful sauteed in butter or olive oil and a great plate presentation. 

 

I just came back from the store with some yellow squash and zucchini so I'll get to cutting and provide some photos. 

Here's an assortment of some of my contraptions and hand-held vegetable cutters.  As you can see, a few make wonderful strands of squash "spaghetti."

squash 001.JPG

 

squash 005.JPG

 

squash 008.JPG

 

squash 011.JPG

 

squash 012.JPG

 

squash 015.JPG

 

And my personal favorite, the curly fry monster made in Taiwan-

squash 017.JPG

 

squash 020.JPG

 

squash 024.JPG


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#62 chefmd

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Posted 06 August 2013 - 06:56 PM

Zucchini quickly fried in duck fat while duck breast is resting. While cooking in one pan. While renovating kitchen.

 

Damn, this almost sounds like a poem.  It surely tasted poetic.

 

IMG_0499.JPG

 

IMG_0502.jpg

 

 

 


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#63 Shel_B

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 12:46 AM

Zucchini ribbons as a pasta substitute.  Not a new thing, but something I've done only a couple of times and would like to explore more.  

 

I've been making variations on zucchini pasta for years.  I most often just make the ribbons using the grating disk on the Cuisinart.  One dish that I make frequently is "Zucchini Puttanesca," and whenever possible I use the Costata Romanesco squash.  Mmmmm!  If you've not tried the Romanesco, give it a whirl. You might come to like its flavor and texture more than the typical zucchini.  It has less water and holds up better in many types of cooking.


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#64 David Ross

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 03:17 AM

I'd eat duck and zucchini any day.  Looks delicious.



#65 Franci

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:57 AM

I have TONS of squash blossoms.....I'm just not sure how to make them.  I tried to fry them once....didn't turn out like I wanted.

 

They freeze really really well, you can have fried zucchini blossoms in winter! Wash them and dry them really well, very gently, I use a salad spinner. Then freeze in a container in layers. Key is to dip in batter and fry while they are still frozen, otherwise they turn into a mush. You cannot stuff anymore.

I know everybody says to go with a light batter with the blossoms (beer, sparkling water, rice flour), but my preferred batter is eggs and flour, plus salt something in the middle between pancake batter thickness and crepe. Needs to coat the blossoms without being neither too heavy nor runny. Deep fry.

 

Another way Italians like to fry the zucchini blossoms is to make a batter flour, yeast and salt, some sugar and water and add the shredded zucchini blossoms and then let it double in bulk and dip fry. Something looking like this

 

I also enjoyed very much watching this video of Ottolenghi going in a farm in Turkey to catch the blossoms when they open in the morning.

Here.

 

Shelby you can also shred the blossoms and add to the zucchini to make a risotto or pasta.


Edited by Franci, 07 August 2013 - 05:59 AM.

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#66 Bojana

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:31 AM

I have just received four gem squashes from a South African colleague who grows them in his garden. Any recipes or ideas how to use them other than the traditional slice in half and boil?



#67 Franci

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:32 AM

I'm sorry I don't have the time to join you in the cooking but I'm reading and going to come back to steal some of you ideas.

 

Meanwhile I want to add some of the ways I enjoy zucchini.

 

Zucchine alla poverella. (povero=poor) Slice the zucchini, salt them and leave to dry overnight on towels. Deep fry. Layer the fried zucchini and dress with white wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, garlic salt and fresh mint. Mint and vinegar are key.

 

Another very famous Italian dish, is spaghetti alla Nerano, in the States I don't know how is (or how expensive is) to find provolone del Monaco and caciocavallo di Sorrento. In this blog you can see both cheeses. I tried in the past with mozzarella, just doesn't work.

 

I also enjoyed many times this Tian of courgettes and potatoes. I don't like the wine in it and honestly didn't follow the recipe to the T, just the idea. In my area of origin, in Apulia, we call this kind of dish Tiella.

The most known Tiella is riso patate e cozze. But it is very common to find also the zucchine in there. It is a very difficult dish to do properly. It can be really delicious or total crap. This is a good video, sorry in Italian but watching is good enough, in reality this is cooked in a earth ware pot and baked in a brick oven. 


Edited by Franci, 07 August 2013 - 06:45 AM.

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#68 Franci

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:36 AM

Another summer squash that is particular from the riviera is zucchini trombetta.image.jpg

 

it is different than the regular zucchini. It's much firmer, hold the cooking very well and it has seeds only at the rounder tip where the blossom is attached. If you can find the seeds, I highly recommend it.

A way people enjoyed it here is in "torte verdi", Italian or French version very similar. Tourte de cougette trompette.


Edited by Franci, 07 August 2013 - 06:42 AM.

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#69 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 02:25 PM

Here's how my first squash of the summer met its end!

 

I used a recipe from Roger Vergé's Vegetables in the French Style: Courgettes et Petits Oignons à la Cardamomme (Zucchini and Pearl Onions with Cardamom). The book is rather unclear, so I don't know if this is what it should look like...

 

These are the ingredients:

 


001 (640x480).jpg

 

You poach onions, cardamom seeds, bay and chilli, then add the courgettes:

 

003 (640x480).jpg

 

Once done, take off the heat and dress with lemon (membranes and seeds removed and flesh diced), and some chopped mint and coriander, and partially rehydrated dried figs (?!?):

 

004 (640x480).jpg

 

I had to sub shallots and parsley for the coriander and pearl onions as I had availability issues.

 

To be honest, it tasted half weird and half meh. The figs were super-odd. Oh well.

 


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#70 Anna N

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 04:14 PM

I really had no plans to participate in this cook off but this recipe called out to me and it was awfully good.


http://www.seriousea...h-zucchini.html



image.jpg
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#71 David Ross

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 04:29 PM

Here's how my first squash of the summer met its end!

 

I used a recipe from Roger Vergé's Vegetables in the French Style: Courgettes et Petits Oignons à la Cardamomme (Zucchini and Pearl Onions with Cardamom). The book is rather unclear, so I don't know if this is what it should look like...

 

These are the ingredients:

 


attachicon.gif001 (640x480).jpg

 

You poach onions, cardamom seeds, bay and chilli, then add the courgettes:

 

attachicon.gif003 (640x480).jpg

 

Once done, take off the heat and dress with lemon (membranes and seeds removed and flesh diced), and some chopped mint and coriander, and partially rehydrated dried figs (?!?):

 

attachicon.gif004 (640x480).jpg

 

I had to sub shallots and parsley for the coriander and pearl onions as I had availability issues.

 

To be honest, it tasted half weird and half meh. The figs were super-odd. Oh well.

I like the concept of cardamom with squash.  Very intriguing.



#72 David Ross

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:43 PM

David, I have seen a very attractive recipe for just what you mentioned: first you roast strips of peppers, aubergine and courgettes in olive oil. Then you grease a bread tin or terrine dish and line it with cling film and then wilted spinach leaves, laying the ends of the leaves so they hang down over the edge. Make up some agar-agar and dip the roasted vegetables in one by one, layering them inside the dish. Then you pick up the spinach overhang and cover the top, and cover with cling film. Weigh down and refrigerate until set.

 

A tomato sauce that I love is very simple; you refresh three sundried tomatoes in hot water and process them with half a pound of baby tomatoes and a tablespoon of olive oil. That's it.

 

Then you turn out and slice the terrine, spoon over the tomato sauce and sprinkle with fresh herbs.

I've never worked with agar-agar, but I assume it acts like a gel to help mold all the ingredients?  I wonder if an aspic would work in the same manner?



#73 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 05:58 PM

I like the concept of cardamom with squash.  Very intriguing.

 

That part was actually tasty, I would try squash and cardamom again - maybe with a sweeter squash.

 

I've never worked with agar-agar, but I assume it acts like a gel to help mold all the ingredients?  I wonder if an aspic would work in the same manner?

 

Yes, aspic would work just the same - I think agar was used in this recipe to keep it vegetarian, but it's just a clear neutral gel to hold the shape.



#74 Shelby

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 06:52 PM

Here's how my first squash of the summer met its end!
 
I used a recipe from Roger Vergé's Vegetables in the French Style: Courgettes et Petits Oignons à la Cardamomme (Zucchini and Pearl Onions with Cardamom). The book is rather unclear, so I don't know if this is what it should look like...
 
These are the ingredients:
 

attachicon.gif001 (640x480).jpg
 
You poach onions, cardamom seeds, bay and chilli, then add the courgettes:
 
attachicon.gif003 (640x480).jpg
 
Once done, take off the heat and dress with lemon (membranes and seeds removed and flesh diced), and some chopped mint and coriander, and partially rehydrated dried figs (?!?):
 
attachicon.gif004 (640x480).jpg
 
I had to sub shallots and parsley for the coriander and pearl onions as I had availability issues.
 
To be honest, it tasted half weird and half meh. The figs were super-odd. Oh well.

 
 
The figs...hmmmm.....too sweet with the squash for me.....I think.

I've never used dried figs before, do they get softer or are they more chewy?

Edited by Shelby, 07 August 2013 - 07:00 PM.


#75 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 07 August 2013 - 07:16 PM


The figs...hmmmm.....too sweet with the squash for me.....I think.

I've never used dried figs before, do they get softer or are they more chewy?

 

Actually you get both. I'm not sure whether it depends more on the variety of fig or just the way they're prepared, but some of them are buttery-soft and moist, and some you have to cut with scissors because they're quite hard with natural cristalised sugar. The hard ones aren't the best in my experience because when you soak them, the outside gets gross and slushy and the inside just stays hard. But whichever you try, don't try them with courgette. If you want to know which you're buying just give them a squeeze I guess :wink:

 

(Over here market sellers have a sort of song that they do about their fruit and veg to attract customers and they improvise based on what's happening in the market, and the first time I went to our local market on my own when I moved out of home I was touching the plumbs and the market man yelled 'Don't squeeze'em darlin', you'll make me cry' :huh:)


Edited by Plantes Vertes, 07 August 2013 - 07:21 PM.


#76 Shelby

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 06:24 AM

I have TONS of squash blossoms.....I'm just not sure how to make them.  I tried to fry them once....didn't turn out like I wanted.

 

They freeze really really well, you can have fried zucchini blossoms in winter! Wash them and dry them really well, very gently, I use a salad spinner. Then freeze in a container in layers. Key is to dip in batter and fry while they are still frozen, otherwise they turn into a mush. You cannot stuff anymore.

I know everybody says to go with a light batter with the blossoms (beer, sparkling water, rice flour), but my preferred batter is eggs and flour, plus salt something in the middle between pancake batter thickness and crepe. Needs to coat the blossoms without being neither too heavy nor runny. Deep fry.

 

Another way Italians like to fry the zucchini blossoms is to make a batter flour, yeast and salt, some sugar and water and add the shredded zucchini blossoms and then let it double in bulk and dip fry. Something looking like this

 

I also enjoyed very much watching this video of Ottolenghi going in a farm in Turkey to catch the blossoms when they open in the morning.

Here.

 

Shelby you can also shred the blossoms and add to the zucchini to make a risotto or pasta.

 

 

I have TONS of squash blossoms.....I'm just not sure how to make them.  I tried to fry them once....didn't turn out like I wanted.

 

They freeze really really well, you can have fried zucchini blossoms in winter! Wash them and dry them really well, very gently, I use a salad spinner. Then freeze in a container in layers. Key is to dip in batter and fry while they are still frozen, otherwise they turn into a mush. You cannot stuff anymore.

I know everybody says to go with a light batter with the blossoms (beer, sparkling water, rice flour), but my preferred batter is eggs and flour, plus salt something in the middle between pancake batter thickness and crepe. Needs to coat the blossoms without being neither too heavy nor runny. Deep fry.

 

Another way Italians like to fry the zucchini blossoms is to make a batter flour, yeast and salt, some sugar and water and add the shredded zucchini blossoms and then let it double in bulk and dip fry. Something looking like this

 

I also enjoyed very much watching this video of Ottolenghi going in a farm in Turkey to catch the blossoms when they open in the morning.

Here.

 

Shelby you can also shred the blossoms and add to the zucchini to make a risotto or pasta.

Franci, thank you so much for the wonderful directions and ideas.  

 

It's pouring rain right now, but as soon as I can slog out to the garden, I'm going to pick some blossoms and give it a go.



#77 Shelby

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 06:26 AM

Jaymes,

 

I have made your recipe twice now!  We love it.  

 

 

 


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#78 Jaymes

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 09:25 AM

Jaymes, I have made your recipe twice now!  We love it.     


If you mean the one where you add the beaten egg at the last minute, now that you've tried it a couple of times, I'd bet you will never again be able to look at a pan of cooked squash without thinking to yourself "now, where's that egg?"

However, upon rereading the recipe, I noticed that I left out one important piece of instruction - after the egg is fully incorporated and cooked and you add the sour cream or grated cheese and replace the lid, be sure to turn off the heat. You don't want it to cook any more.

#79 dcarch

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 09:49 AM

A little practice and a sharp knife, you can cut ribbons of squash for interesting recipes.

 

dcarch

 

knifeskills.jpg


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#80 Plantes Vertes

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 10:12 AM

Jaw is on floor, dcarch. Next time I want to wrap something up in near-transparent vegetable slivers I know who to call.


Edited by Plantes Vertes, 08 August 2013 - 10:17 AM.


#81 David Ross

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 06:09 PM

One of my employees gave me a recipe today for zucchini-parmesan crisps.  It's basically a zucchini tuile.  She serves it with a puree of cooked squash and greek yogurt.  A sort of chips and dips using squash.



#82 David Ross

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Posted 08 August 2013 - 06:23 PM

And another idea from an employee-cut slabs off a huge zucchini.  Brush with olive oil and grill on the bbq.  Use the grilled slices of zucchini in place of pizza dough.  Top with mozzarella and other toppings, return to the grill to let the cheese melt.  You get the sweet, tender flesh of the squash along with salty cheese.  She said it's quite the novelty at outdoor parties.


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#83 David Ross

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 10:47 AM

Has anyone ever tried a zucchini Tarte Tatin?  I'm wondering about the process of cooking down the zucchini to get a caramelized top.



#84 Okanagancook

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 10:51 AM

These are excellent for an appetizer with cocktails: http://acozykitchen....zucchini-fries/
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#85 David Ross

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Posted 09 August 2013 - 11:18 AM

I'm saving the layered squash terrine for later.  Right now I've got yellow squash and zucchini and smoked pork hocks in the slow-cooker.  Tommorrow I'm going to attempt some sort of French-style zucchini tart.  I think with a smoked tomato sauce.



#86 Shel_B

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 11:05 AM

Last night I made a zucchini slaw using a couple of squash varieties from the garden.  Turned out pretty well:  probably a pound and a half of squash, some tomatoes cut up and seeded, garlic, sherry vinegar and olive oil, plenty of pepper, some salt, and a few julienned basil leaves (more would have been nice).  I threw some shaved Reggiano on top for a garnish.  Got the recipe idea from an article in the local fish wrap.


.... Shel


#87 LindaK

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 12:16 PM

Lunch today was Turkish zucchini fritters. Recipe from the Sultan's Kitchen. Simple but oh so good.

 

zucchini fritters.jpg

 

grated zucchini, salted to rid of excess water.  eggs, flour, parsley, dill, crumbled feta, salt and pepper.  Fried by the large spoonful.  Serve with a squeeze of lemon and some Greek yogurt, if you'd like.

 

 


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#88 Anna N

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 01:16 PM

Lunch today was Turkish zucchini fritters. Recipe from the Sultan's Kitchen. Simple but oh so good.
 
attachicon.gifzucchini fritters.jpg
 
grated zucchini, salted to rid of excess water.  eggs, flour, parsley, dill, crumbled feta, salt and pepper.  Fried by the large spoonful.  Serve with a squeeze of lemon and some Greek yogurt, if you'd like.
 
 


These look absolutely amazing. Checking 'fridge for ingredients.....
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#89 Franci

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 01:59 PM

Linda, that looks so good!

You reminded me, I made a cake version of these fritters. I tried with flour, or with white rice or  bulgur. Maybe my favorite was with rice, squeezing out all the water from the zucchini.

 

Couldn't go to Italy for shopping, otherwise I would have looked for tenerumi, here on the French side are rarely seen.



#90 Anna N

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Posted 10 August 2013 - 02:22 PM

Lunch today was Turkish zucchini fritters. Recipe from the Sultan's Kitchen. Simple but oh so good.
 
attachicon.gifzucchini fritters.jpg
 
grated zucchini, salted to rid of excess water.  eggs, flour, parsley, dill, crumbled feta, salt and pepper.  Fried by the large spoonful.  Serve with a squeeze of lemon and some Greek yogurt, if you'd like.
 
 

These look absolutely amazing. Checking 'fridge for ingredients.....

Everything but dill (and I am not a fan). Served with a red pepper paste. Very tasty. Thank you.

image.jpg
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