We were given a giant zucchini (courgette) by the owner of Mikros Apoplous restaurant in Adamas while we were having lunch there. Here is the result of the challenge I set myself as promised in my comment on Beth’s post. Em says it’s a marrow. I don’t know, I’ll let you decide.
So here we go. This big bruiser became: 1. peppy roasted snack seeds, 2. puree with pesto , 3. roasted cubes, 4.baked semi-circles, and 5. grated shards to toss in mixed salad or slaw. Each had a different texture and flavour…and if I do say so myself, each was delicious.
1 monster zucchini, marrow or squash
spices such as hot paprika, cumin, coriander and/or your own personal favourites
fresh or dry oregano
pesto sauce: fresh or from a jar
1 large clove garlic
salt and freshly ground pepper
Seeds: Start by cutting the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out all the seeds. Pull off any bits of flesh clinging to them and rinse well. Spread the seeds out on a cookie sheet and let dry. Next, add seasonings of your choice. I sprinkled salt and pepper plus hot paprika and cumin, but that was the mood I was in at the moment. As they say, ‘go where your heart leads you’. The seeds need a little oil but I put a big emphasis on the word little. Back at school when we used to toast pumpkin seeds for Halloween, we’d end up with a greasy mess if somebody was too generous with the oil. I had over one cup of seeds and used one teaspoon of olive oil and that was about right. Stir everything around and get the seeds back into a single layer. If the mixture looks too dry, add a few more drops of oil. Bake in a preheated 150 degree centigrade/ 300 degree Fahrenheit oven for about fifteen minutes. Let cool. Keep in an airtight container if you don’t eat them all in one go.
Pureed, Baked,and Roasted : Take one half of the leviathan. Cut bands about two inches wide leaving a good chunk at the end. Set the biggest semicircles aside-one per person. Make two inch cubes from the rest of the semi-circles and slice the rind off each. This is bit tedious. Throw the cubes and semi-circles into the colander and sprinkle with lots of salt and let them sit over night or at least a couple of hours to let the excess water come out. When ready, take about half the cubes and boil gently in salted water until just tender. Drain and mash, adding a good drizzle of the best olive oil you have. Add one tablespoon of pesto sauce. Taste and add more pesto sauce to taste. Adjust seasoning. Put the rest of the cubes in a bowl, add garlic, sea salt and oregano and a glug of oil (as if you were doing roasted potatoes). Spread in a single layer over half a baking sheet. Put the demi-rings on the baking sheet and brush with a very little oil. Season with salt pepper and some ground coriander (thyme would be nice too, or a little maple syrup or honey). Bake in the same oven as the seeds but for about half an hour. Turn once during the baking time.
Shards: Grate what’s left of the flesh on the coarsest holes, sprinkle with salt and put in a sieve over a bowl. They will dry out quite a lot. Sprinkle a mixed salad with these shards to add extra texture and a bit of a nutty flavour. They would be also be a good addition to a pear and fennel, or cabbage slaw.
We had a great and filling lunch with all the variations. Oh, and the other half is still in the fridge. Guess what’s for dinner. Ha!