zucchini

summer garden palya

2nd July 2019

A palya which I have been making often, very simple, quick and based on what is in the garden at the moment; a handful of beans, small cabbages and a few small zucchinis. Feel free to change the vegetables to suit the season or availability. Great served over rice, with avocado and pickle or accompanied with a simple dal. 

summer garden palya

Preparation 30 minutes

Serves 4 

Use heaped spoon measurements.

ingredients 

2 cups/230g zucchinis

3 cups/170g cabbage

1 cup/150g green beans

¼ cup/60ml water

1 tsp fine rock salt

2 tsp jaggery/sugar

5 Tbsp dried shredded coconut

½ cup chopped coriander/fenugreek leaves

voggarane

4 Tbsp peanut/melted coconut oil

½ tsp black mustard seeds

1 Tbsp split channa dal

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 medium, mild dried red chillies, chopped

⅛ tsp hingu powder (asafoetida)

¼ tsp turmeric powder

20 fresh curry leaves

to serve

ghee

brown rice

sliced avocado

spicy pickle

preparation

1.  Chop the zucchini, cabbage and green beans into small uniformed pieces and measure the spices for the voggarane – set aside.

prepare the voggarane

2.  In a heavy-bottom skillet, over medium heat, pour in oil, add mustard seeds and channa dal; when they turn grey and the dal is golden-brown, turn down the heat, add cumin seeds, chillies, and asafoetida – fry for 30 seconds, then add the turmeric powder and curry leaves – fry for a few seconds longer.

3.  Add the vegetables, water, salt and jaggery – stir to combine, and cook uncovered on medium heat for 3 minutes – stirring regularly, then cover and cook until the vegetables have softened – 3 more minutes. 

4.  Turn off the heat and stir in the dried coconut and coriander. 

5.  Allow to sit for 5 minutes in order to cool slightly and for the flavours to be absorbed. Taste, adding more salt or jaggery, as needed.

Serve with brown rice drizzled with ghee.

lasagna tart

11th September 2018

sunkissed and content…

A very decadent and comforting dish for a special occasion. A bit rich on its own but goes well as part of the main meal, accompanied by a simple rice dish and a variety of salads. The parmesan crust is divine, crunchy and flavourful.

lasagna tart

Preparation time  – 40 minutes

Baking – 15 minutes

Serves 6 – 8 or one 9-10 inch tart.

Recipe adapted from here. 

ingredients

2 medium/350g zucchini, sliced into very thin coins

¾ tsp fine-grain rock salt

tart crust

½ cup/75g unbleached all-purpose flour

½ cup/70g whole wheat flour

½ cup/115g unsalted butter, well chilled + cut into small cubes

2 cups/100g loosely packed grated parmesan cheese

½ tsp fine-grain rock salt

2 Tbsp ice cold water

tomato sauce

2 Tbsp olive oil

1 tsp each of finely chopped fresh rosemary and oregano leaves

¾ tsp red pepper flakes

400g cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

½ tsp fine-grain rock salt

½ tsp brown sugar

 

1 cup/250g ricotta cheese

¼ cup small basil leaves

preparation

1.  Preheat your oven to 190C/375F. Oil a 10-inch tart pan and set aside.

prepare the zucchini

2.  Slice the zucchini using a mandoline or knife into 2mm slices. Place in a bowl, sprinkle over the salt and gently toss until evenly covered with salt. Transfer to a colander and let drain while you make the tart shell and tomato sauce.

make the tart crust

3.  Place both flours, butter cubes, parmesan and salt in a food processor and pulse quickly about 25 times. You are looking for a sandy textured blend, with pea-sized pieces of butter. With a few more pulses, blend in the 2 tablespoons of ice water. The dough should stick together when you pinch it with your fingers.

4.  Pour the dough into the tart pan. Working quickly, press the dough uniformly into the pan by pressing across the bottom and working up towards the sides. Place in the refrigerator and chill for 15 minutes. You can use this time to finely chop the tomatoes.

bake the tart crust

5.  Pull the tart out of the refrigerator and poke a few times with the tongs of a fork. Cover the tart with baking paper and fill generously with pie weights (I used chickpeas). Bake for 15 minutes, pull the tart out of the oven and gently remove the baking paper containing the pie weights.

6.  Place the uncovered tart back in the oven, weight free, and allow to cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.

prepare the tomato sauce

7.  Stir the olive oil, red pepper flakes and finely chopped herbs in a saucepan, cook over medium-high heat until the herbs start to sizzle just a bit.

8.  Stir in the finely chopped tomatoes, bring to a simmer, cook the sauce down, uncovered, for 20 minutes, then stir in the salt and sugar, set aside.

to assemble the tart

9.  Use a spatula to spread half the ricotta cheese across the base of the tart shell. Then spoon half the tomato sauce over the ricotta and arrange half the zucchini in a single layer on top of the sauce. If your zucchinis are still quite wet, press them with a paper towel. Spoon the remaining ricotta over the zucchinis and push it around a bit with your fingers so that it forms a layer. Arrange another layer of zucchini and finish with the remaining sauce. You want the filling to nearly, but not quite fill the pan.

to bake the tart

10.  Place the tart on a rimmed baking sheet (in case you end up with an overflow) and bake for 40 minutes or until the tart is cooked through. Remove and allow to cool for 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle the top with fresh basil leaves.

slow cooked zucchinis with basil

4th September 2018

ZUCCHINI

This year I staggered my planting to have a continuous supply of zucchini throughout the summer, but I forgot how quickly they grow from seed to plant and now I have an endless supply.

Just when I think I have them under control, I venture out into the garden and miraculously there is another batch ready to be picked! I have been giving away a lot and trying many new recipes to use them up.

I have been returning to these zucchini fritters and recently sitting in my drafts is this lasagna tart recipe from 101 Cookbooks which I will make for my daughter before she returns to University.

I have also been making a sweet zucchini palya to accompany any dal or sambar.

In the garden…..

slow-cooked zucchinis with basil

Preparation – 1 hour

Serves 4, as a side dish.

Recipe adapted from `Spring´ by Skye Gyngell.

ingredients

6 small/530g firm zucchinis

2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 Tbsp ghee/butter, melted

rock salt & freshly ground black pepper

preparation

1.  Trim the zucchinis and slice them into fine rounds, about 3mm thick. I used a mandoline for this.

2.  Place a medium heavy-based pan over medium heat and pour in the olive oil and melted ghee, add the zucchinis and stir well to coat the slices in the ghee and oil. Add a good pinch of salt.

3.  Turn down the heat to its lowest setting possible and cover the pan with the lid. Cook for 40-50 minutes, stirring every few minutes to ensure the zucchinis do not stick to the bottom or brown. As the zucchinis cook they will soften and their flavour will deepen. Eventually, they will begin to disintegrate, becoming almost like a thick mushy jam.

4.  At this point, remove from heat and add half the basil leaves, plenty of pepper and a good pinch of salt. Stir well, sprinkle over the remaining basil leaves and serve.

These zucchinis are surprisingly good eaten cold as well. Serve as an antipasto with crusty bread, stirred into pasta or as a vegetable side dish.

zucchini fritters with an avocado raita

13th July 2014

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This is where I am at the moment.

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It really is in these tiny wonders,

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the accidental joys,

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in all this surrounding beauty,

reminding us to breathe, smile and take us back to our true self.

For that I am thankful.

zucchini fritters (without eggs)

 15 – 18 fritters

Zucchinis are funny plants. I wait and wait for their delicious fruit, picking a small one here and there, and then, SUDDENLY,  I have more fruit then I know what to do with.

ingredients 

550g/4 cups grated zucchinis (approx 3 medium garden zucchinis)

½ tsp salt – divided

1 Tbsp flax seed

3 Tbsp water

handful of mint and dill, finely chopped

¾ cup/90g chickpea flour

½ tsp baking powder

¼ tsp freshly ground pepper

oil of choice for frying

preparation 

1. Grate the zucchinis, either with a box grater, or using the shredding blade of a food processor. Place in a colander, sprinkle over a ¼ teaspoon of salt and allow to stand for 20 – 30 minutes.

2.  In a medium bowl, add the water and flaxseed and let soak for 20 minutes.

3.  Squeeze the grated zucchinis dry with your hands.  You will be surprised by the amount of liquid that is squeezed out. This will stop the fritters from going soggy.  Place in the bowl with the linseed mixture, along with the mint and dill.

4.  In a bowl, place the chickpea flour, baking powder, remaining salt and pepper, stir to combine, then add to the zucchini mixture, and combine well. The mixture will be sticky.

5.  Heat the oil over medium heat in a cast-iron skillet.  When hot, test by putting a heaped tablespoon of the batter into the hot oil.  Spread a little to make a round, flatter shape.  Cook them over medium-high heat until the edges turn golden, about 3 – 4 minutes.

6.  Flip the fritters and fry for another 2  – 3  minutes. Drain briefly on a paper towel.  Best served immediately with avocado raita, also delicious with tomato gojju.

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avocado raita

ingredients 

3 medium ripe avocados

juice of 1 lemon

rind of 1 lemon

½ small green chilli or two pinches chilli flakes

handful each fresh coriander and mint

salt and pepper to taste

preparation 

1.  Halve the avocados, take out the seeds and with a spoon, scoop the avocado flesh into a bowl.

2.  Add the lemon juice, chilli, and lots of fresh herbs and blitz using a hand blender until smooth and well combined.  The mixture will seem quite thick, if you prefer thinner, just add a little water.

3.  Add more lemon, salt and pepper to taste.  Sprinkle over the lemon rind. Dollop on each fritter just before serving.

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Goodness shared from Stacey

zucchini spinach palya

14th August 2013

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TODAY

it is in the little wonders,  the hidden treasures,  it’s in all things,

the big and small, in the ordinary and the extraordinary.

The light, the color……go outside and see for yourself,

and breathe into it…..

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zucchini spinach palya

Inspired by a dish Jonathan made for me on my birthday.

Summer squashes – zucchini, scaloppine, yellow crookneck – are light, cool, and easy to digest. Perfect for relieving pitta, especially on a hot summer day.  And with warming spices like mustard seed or cumin, they balance kapha and vata.

ingredients 

350g dark leafy greens eg young leaves of spinach, chard, beetroot and or kale

2  medium-sized zucchinis

¼ cup freshly shredded coconut (2 Tbsp dry coconut)

½ tsp rock salt

2 tsp jaggery

for the voggarane

2 Tbsp peanut oil

1 tsp urad dal – split and husked white dal

1 tsp chana dal – a split and husked relative of the chickpeas

1 tsp cumin seeds

preparation 

1.  Wash the urad and channa dal in water, then cover with fresh water and leave to stand for 1 hour – drain and set aside.

2.  Remove the course stems from the leafy greens and steam until just wilted and slightly soft – set aside to cool, then squeeze out excess water and slice into thin slivers.

3.  Chop the zucchini into small pieces – set aside.

for the voggarane

4.  Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat, add the channa and urad dal – fry until golden-brown, then add cumin seeds, fry for 30 seconds.

5.  Add the zucchini and stir until the desired tenderness.

6.  Add salt, jaggery and coconut and combine well, then stir in the spinach until well combined.

Serve with millet and a beetroot salad, and a simple golden dal.

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Goodness shared by Stacey

“I am happy!!” almond sunflower hummus

18th May 2010

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This recipe was inspired by a raw food book called, “I am Grateful ” – Recipes and Lifestyle of Cafe Gratitude by Terces Engelhart.   All the recipes in this book, and on the menu in their cafe, have self-affirming names like, “I am adoring”, “I am loved” or “I am fulfilled”. This hummus is, “I am Happy”.   Terces says, “The Cafe Gratitude menu gives you the opportunity to start practising saying something new and affirming about yourself by simply placing your order, and encouraging customers to order what they want in life.  Then when the servers bring their food and drinks, they place them down saying, ” You are adoring, “You are loved” or “You are fulfilled,” and, of course, “You are happy!”

So when you make this hummus, say to yourself, “I AM HAPPY!!!”  What a great way to approach food.  The book was a present given to me by Anna when she returned from a trip to California.  She said the food in this restaurant was amazing, joy-filled and delicious.  There is also a recipe using the left-over almond pulp and finely chopped pine nuts.  This mixture can be used in nori rolls instead of rice.  I haven’t tried this yet, but it does sound delicious, even more so by adding sprouts, avocado and grated carrot.

You can be creative and add all sorts of things to this hummus to give it a different colour, taste and texture.

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almond sunflower hummus

Makes about 1½ cups

ingredients 

½ cup sunflower seeds (soaked for at least 4 hours)

¼ cup almond pulp from making almond milk  ( If using whole almonds, soak overnight with the sunflower seeds and peel before grinding)

1 medium zucchini (about 1 cup of sliced zucchini rounds)

– ½ cup raw tahini

zest & juice of one lemon

1 tsp grated fresh turmeric

1 tsp cumin powder (cumin seeds, dry roasted and then ground roughly in a mortar & pestle)

¼ cup almond milk/water

2 Tbsp fresh coriander

salt & pepper to taste

preparation 

1.  In a food processor, process the almond pulp and soaked sunflower seeds until roughly ground.

2.  Add the remaining ingredients and begin again to puree the ingredients, adding the almond milk until you reach a creamy texture (or one that you desire).

3.  Taste the hummus and adjust any ingredients to your liking – lemon juice, cumin, olive oil.

4.  Drizzle with olive oil and dust with more cumin and a sprinkling of hot paprika.

‘Can you see the source of happiness is being happy?’ …Cafe Gratitude…

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Goodness shared from Stacey

summer salad

13th September 2009

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“This salad is good!  You could share this with the world!” my son announced over dinner the other night. So how could I not share it with you?

This is a salad that I serve with every meal, taking advantage of all of summer’s beautiful, bright colours.  I love to add purple basil, small leaves of the rainbow chard, deep green mint leaves – whatever catches my eye in the garden.  Sometimes I saute green beans with the zucchini or grate the raw zucchini into strips instead of cooking.  Another wonderful addition is pumpkin or sweet potato chopped in small cubes, lightly sprinkled with ground cumin, a pinch of cayenne pepper, salt and pepper, then roasted on a baking tray until the pumpkin is tender, and added to the salad.

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summer salad

ingredients 

3 cups garden greens and edible flowers (lettuce, baby kale, arugula, spinach, chard, beetroot leaves, basil, mint, parsley, coriander)

1 carrot, shaved with a potato peeler

1 cucumber, chopped

½ cup sprouts (see how-to sprout own)

4 small garden zucchinis, halved & quartered lengthwise

dressing 

cup pine nuts

1 Tbsp honey (add a little hot water to make it more liquid)

2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar

5 Tbsp olive oil

juice of one lemon

salt and pepper

preparation 

1.  In a very hot skillet, drizzle a little oil/ghee and add the halved zucchinis, cook, until a little charred on all sides. Put aside to cool.

2.  Wash, spin and dry the green salad leaves, shave the carrot into long strips, slice the cucumber, add the sprouts and cooled zucchinis in a large salad bowl.

3.  Lightly dry toast the pine nuts until lightly golden.  Put aside 2 tablespoons and roughly chop.

4.  Place the rest of the pine nuts with the remaining dressing ingredients in a blender and blend for 1 minute, scraping the sides as needed.

5.  Drizzle over the salad, lightly toss, sprinkle with the reserved chopped pine nuts and serve.

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Shared goodness from Stacey

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