By Liz Bares
When I was a kid, August felt like a month of Sundays. As each day blended into the next, you knew summer was coming to a close and school would start back up.
While summer days wind down in August, gardens around here are just getting started! Tomatoes are ripening, dill is blooming, sweet corn silk is turning brown and aching to be picked. And, zucchini, the bunny rabbits of the garden, just keep producing seemingly overnight.
I realize there are zucchini recipes aplenty this time of year and I’m going to add to the fray. One zucchini plant seems to be enough for a family of four. I have three plants and they produce enough zucchini that I’m entertaining the idea of leaving some in the front lawns of strangers.
Last week, my counter was covered with zucchini. Thankfully, my neighbors took some off my hands.
Zucchini, or courgette, is filled with Vitamin A, C, B6, magnesium and potassium. The best size to pick your zucchini is 6-8 inches long. This size will yield a much sweeter product. I try to avoid the gigantic zucchini by surveying the garden daily. However, sometimes one sneaks by and I end up with a baseball bat-sized zucchini. While the kids think they are incredibly awesome, I throw them to the wild animals.
I made a lasagna last week using the zucchini as noodles and it was delicious but very watery. Next time I’ll grill the zucchini first to see if that helps with the liquid. Typically, you need to salt zucchini for about 10 minutes and then squeeze out the liquid before cooking it, although I’ve found you do not need to salt before grilling. I’m not sure of the science behind that.
This recipe is for zucchini cookies. Adding zucchini to baked goods adds moisture. These cookies could use a full 15 minutes of cooking to make sure they aren’t too sticky.
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry or spelt flour (I use spelt)
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg, beaten
½ cup butter, softened
½ cup brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup (or honey, I prefer grade B maple syrup)
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 cup finely grated zucchini
12 oz. chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Combine the dry ingredients in a small bowl. Combine the wet ingredients in a large bowl. Blend the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Then stir the zucchini and chocolate chips into the large bowl.
Drop one tablespoon of batter onto the prepared cookie sheet and flatten slightly with hand or spoon. Bake for 15 minutes. You want to make sure the cookie has browned nicely on the sides and bottom. The cookies will be VERY moist. I store them in waxed paper in the fridge. If you are going to eat them within a day, then you can store them on a plate.