CSA Week 7 – Zucchini

A great early summer harvest of broccoli, two colors of cauliflower, kale, green beans, cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini, fennel, tomatoes, and potatoes!

With this week’s harvest we continue to be up to our ears in zucchini and summer squash, so I’ve been looking for creative ways to use our abundance. Here are a couple of recipes we’ve tried and have worked well for us.

Summer squash refrigerator pickles (adapted from the recipe for pickled squash from A Farmgirl’s Dabbles, in turn adapted from Smitten with Squash by Amanda Paa):

  •  9 sprigs fresh cilantro
  •  3 large cloves garlic, halved
  •  3 tsp. peppercorns
  •  1-1/2 tsp. coriander seed
  •  3 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  •  1-1/2 lbs. yellow squash and zucchini, sliced into thin rounds.
  •  1/3 c. thinly sliced sweet onion
  •  1-1/4 c. vinegar (5% acidity)
  •  1-1/4 c. water
  •  2 tsp. kosher salt or 1-1/2 tsp regular salt

Thinly slice the squash and onions, and pack into a jar or jars – you can place all in one larger jar (at least 2 quarts) or split into several pint jars. If using several smaller jars, distribute the spices among them but amounts for those don’t have to be exact. Bring the water and vinegar mixture to a boil and dissolve the salt, then pour over the squash and seasonings in the jar(s). Attach lids, let cool to room temperature, then transfer and store in the refrigerator. Flavor is best after the pickles have had at least a couple of days to develop.

Feel free to change the seasonings to suit your tastes – leave out the coriander if you don’t have it, or substitute the coriander and cilantro with dill. The original recipe also called for honey (2 1/2 tbsp) but I like my pickles not sweet. For the vinegar, I like a mix of apple cider and white but you might want all apple cider vinegar (all white vinegar may taste a little harsh). You can also scale up or down depending on how much squash you have or want to preserve. The key proportions are the salt/vinegar/water ratio, and you will need about 1 to 1-1/4 cup of brine for every pint jar of squash (depending on how tightly you pack).

Zucchini fritters:

  • 2 cups zucchini, grated
  • 1 cup chickpea flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced green onion
  • pinch of salt
  • olive oil for frying

Grate the zucchini and toss with a little bit of salt. Allow to sit in a colander for about 10 minutes, then rinse to remove the salt and squeeze out the excess liquid. Mix the zucchini with the chickpea flour, egg, green onion, and a little bit of salt to taste. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a small saucepan. Scoop about 2-3 tablespoons of the zucchini mixture into the oil and press gently to spread. Fry for about 2-3 minutes or until golden brown, then flip and fry another 2 minutes until the other side is browned. Remove to drain on paper towels. Serve with a dollop of sour cream or ranch dip.

This fritter recipe is quite versatile and I’ve used it with sauerkraut and/or spaghetti squash instead of the zucchini (it originally came from Fermented Vegetables by Christopher and Kirsten Shockey using kraut). You could use regular wheat flour in place of the chickpea flour but would probably need a good bit less. You can fry with olive oil – you don’t have to use extra virgin olive oil but you can, and it doesn’t smoke if you don’t get it excessively hot. About 365˚F for olive oil is supposed to be the magic temperature where the food browns nicely but doesn’t absorb too much oil while cooking.

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