Thursday, June 24, 2010

Zucchini and Breadcrumbs

You guys know how it is. Anyone who's ever had a vegetable garden knows how it is.

It is zucchini time.

I am not complaining. Nope. Only two plants grew this year, and still I'm drowning in the stuff. But that's good. It's all good.

Because I have recipes like this one.

Zucchini and Breadcrumbs (adapted from a Cook's Illustrated recipe called Zucchini with Garlic and Lemon)

For the zucchini:
(I'm going to give you the amounts they give, but really...this is one of those "however much zucchini I have on hand, and adjust the rest to taste" recipes.)
5 medium zucchinis, shredded
kosher salt (or table salt if you prefer)
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
ground black pepper

For the breadcrumb topping:
(I also pretty much go by feel on this one, too.)
2 slices of white bread, torn (I often use whole wheat, since that's what we keep in the house; when I'm feeling lazy, I just use processed breadcrumbs. They're not as good, but you already knew that, I bet.)
2 tablespoons butter

To make the zucchini:
1. Shred zucchini on large holes of box grater, or in food processor. Cook's says to avoid shredding seeds and core (which should be discarded), but I'm afraid that's above my fussiness level when cooking.
2. Toss zucchini with a teaspoon or two of salt, and put in a colander to drain for about 10 minutes, if you can. (This is when I either prepare the breadcrumbs or just work on the rest of the meal.)
3. Cook's says to then wrap the zucchini in a kitchen towel (in batches if necessary) to wring out excess moisture. Again, too fussy for me. (They're undoubtedly right, of course, but I just don't have it in me.) I just dab with a paper towel if it's still looking wet, and call it a day.
4. Combine garlic with two of the teaspoons of olive oil in a medium or large bowl; add zucchini; toss to combine, and to break up clumps of zucchini.
5. Heat rest of olive oil in skillet over high heat until faintly smoking. Add zucchini mixture to skillet; spread evenly in pan.
6. Cook without disturbing for a couple of minutes; you want the bottom of the layer of zucchini to brown. Then stir, or flip, or whatever strikes your fancy, and let the new bottom layer brown again.
7. Remove skillet from heat; add lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste.
8. Serve, sprinkling (or, in my case, blanketing) each serving with bread crumbs.

To make the breadcrumb topping (which you should do before or while you're cooking the zucchini):
1. If making your own breadcrumbs, simply pulse your bread in a food processor until...well, until it looks like largish breadcrumbs.
2. Heat butter in skillet over medium-high heat; add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring frequently until golden brown.
3. Put in small bowl and set aside until needed (or put on table so everyone can put as much on as they want!)

And, of course, enjoy! After all, it's zucchini time.

1 comment:

  1. We eat gallons of zucchini. Love it. It is, in fact, my son's favorite vegie. We love bread, too. All of which makes this recipe win-win for us. Can't wait to try it!