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By Laura Stec

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About this blog: I've been attracted to food for good and bad reasons for many years. From eating disorder to east coast culinary school, food has been my passion, profession & nemesis. I've been a sugar addict, a 17-year vegetarian, a food and en...  (More)

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What to Do with All That Zucchini?

Uploaded: Jul 25, 2023

Throughout the remainder of 2023, we’ll revisit People Choice posts and favorite recipes of the past decade, in honor of The Food Party’s! 10th Anniversary.

Here’s a classic recipe for the season. It was featured in 2016 after starring at the Woodside Elementary School Garden Fest. The school hosts an amazing organic garden – certainly a pride of Woodside.

When summer squash starts taking over your garden or crowding out tables at the farmers markets, this recipe offers solution. What ‘s great about it is flexibility - use up extra cheese, nuts and seeds (mix and match what you have) and showcase home-grown or other herbs of choice. Replace zucchini with any shredded vegetable, including raw winter squash. Substitute ingredients and clean out your fridge!

Chickpea flour replaces the usual white flour as the binder, creating a gluten-free alternative with added protein and complexity, and fewer carbohydrates. Miso (a salty Japanese bean and grain paste) bumps up the umami in the tomato topping. Both offer umami, and when you combine them, they play off and heighten each other. Umami begets umami.

Umami is the 5th taste after sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Many think the rich savory taste is only found in animal foods, but look to plants too such as mushrooms, tomato, roasted peppers, soy sauce and sea vegetables. Parmesan cheese is also a good source.

The illustration below highlights why umami is so important in culinary. Notice how the taste sensation stimulates much more of the tongue than the other tastes.

- graphic courtesy MOB8NP

Garden Zucchini Pancakes with Umami Tomato

3 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup scallions or chives
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons chickpea flour
1/3 cup herbs of choice: dill, parsley, basil, rosemary, etc., chopped
1?2 cup feta cheese crumbled
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Umami Tomato (recipe follows)

Place zucchini in a strainer with mix with some salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Squeeze out as much water as possible. I squeeze it in a towel. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini – walnuts.

Add olive oil to a saute? skillet (I use cast iron). Drop batter in and fry till golden brown, a few minutes each side. Top with Umami Tomato.

Umami Tomato

1 medium homegrown tomato, diced small
1 teaspoon white miso
Salt and freshly ground pepper

Mix tomato and miso, breaking up any clumps of miso. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- photos by LSIC unless noted

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Posted by Laura Bevins, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Jul 25, 2023 at 9:05 am

Laura Bevins is a registered user.

There are countless ways to deal with surplus zucchini...(1) give the stuff away until the recipients beg you not to do so anymore, (2) make zucchini bread or pancakes, (3) grill or bake, (4) use it as a supplement in marinara sauce etc.

The key (like tomatos) is not to grow more than 2-3 plants unless you have a serious use for them.

Posted by Anneke, a resident of Professorville,
on Jul 25, 2023 at 9:39 am

Anneke is a registered user.

Please donate your excess to The Food Kitchen at All Saints' Church in Palo Alto.

Posted by CalAveLocal, a resident of Evergreen Park,
on Jul 27, 2023 at 8:49 am

CalAveLocal is a registered user.

One more amazing source of umami is fish sauce. You don't need much at all, just a tiny bit - and zucchini do exceptionally well with it. It does have a pretty strong and specific smell but trust me, you need to try it :)

Posted by Anthony , a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis,
on Aug 8, 2023 at 9:30 pm

Anthony is a registered user.

So nice article. It's interesting and helpful for us. Web Link

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