August 07, 2007

why didn't i think of that: zucchini mash

okay, so my normal life with no massive task to accomplish seems to be still a little hairy, as i am finding myself without any time to blog. Part of that is that we are throwing our big summer shindig this weekend, and we came back from honeymoon to a house we'd still barely moved into, littered with boxes and wedding crap and half-unpacked suitcases, so we have a lot of setting up and tidying up to do, so that our friends won't trip over boxes of records on their way to the beer tub. And of course work got nice and busy just as I got back in the saddle, so you really can't win.

Anyway, while you wait for me to start posting all the great pictures and stories I have in the backlog (really, i swear), try this one on for size. It's kind of timely, seeing as how I bet many of you have 18 zucchini in your fridge right now, giving you the nasty eye when you open the door to get a lemonade.

Our friends C & P gave us a great cookbook for a wedding present, Claudia Roden's The New Book of Middle Eastern Food, and I have been poking around in there for fun things to do with the excess of produce currently on my hands. No one surpasses the mid-eastern cultures for great vegetable preparations. Yummy.

There are a few recipes in there for mashed or pureed zucchini, and i was just dumbstruck by this -- how could i have failed to think of doing that!?! The damn things get all nice and mushy and soft when you cook them properly, so DUH.

Anyway. There are a few variations, but the basic idea is the same, and quite easy. Fry or boil zucchini until soft (I microwaved it), then mash with a fork in a colander to drain off some of the liquid. Make a paste of garlic and salt, and mash this into the zucchini with olive oil and lemon juice. One recipe then adds raisins and pine nuts and a bit of dried mint; another one adds a dab of harissa and some ground coriander and a few caraway seeds; and so on -- i think this would work with just about any Turkish/Persian/Moroccan/etc. spice combo you like.

These are intended to be served cold, as a dip or spread or side dish/salad. It seems to me it would make a lovely addition to a meze plate with bread and feta, or a tasty sidekick for grilled chicken. And I now have a nice compact tupperware of zucchini mash with raisins and pine nuts, instead of the 7 zucchini that used to be taking up space in my fridge. Hurray!

Posted by foodnerd at August 7, 2007 11:21 AM
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