ZUCCHINI-PROSCIUTTO PARCELS

Two ways to make these delicious little morsels, perfect as a little appetizer or even as a side-dish, which is how we served them. You can use a creamy cheese, such as ricotta, perhaps mixing a bit of egg yolk for added structure, but I opted for halloumi cheese, that retains its texture quite well during baking. The first method requires a mandolin to slice the zucchini, as you need really thin slices so that they bend. You could slice it thicker and blanch them before forming the parcels, but I prefer to skip that additional step.


ZUCCHINI-PROSCIUTTO PARCELS
(from The Bewitching Kitchen)

1 or 2 large zucchini
prosciutto slices, one per appetizer
1/4 cup olive oil
juice of half a lemon
salt and pepper to taste
halloumi cheese cut in pieces, one per roll

Whisk the olive oil with lemon juice, season with salt and pepper. Reserve.

If using ribbons, cut the zucchini in very thin slices, as thin as your mandolin will go. If using zucchini pieces, cut them in squares of a size similar to the cheese. Brush the zucchini with the emulsified oil-lemon. Assemble each little package, either rolling or stacking.

Place over aluminum foil on a baking sheet and bake at 400F util the prosciutto is golden brown (about 25 minutes, depending on size). The zucchini will release a lot of juice during baking but it will dry out as it continues roasting. Do not panic, it will look a little hopeless before it looks great…

Serve while warm.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I don’t know which version I prefer. The one with very thin zucchini slices looks a little more elegant but the zucchini pretty much disappears as far as taste and texture are concerned. The second way to do it makes the zucchini more prominent, but it does not look as good, so it’s really a matter of deciding which path you want to take. I do like the use of halloumi. If you go with a melting cheese, definitely do the zucchini ribbons to wrap the whole thing better.

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CRISPY AIR-FRIED ZUCCHINI

I adore Lolita, our air-fryer, and use it often. It does a wonderful job on many vegetables, and it is our default choice when we make cauliflower, butternut squash or sweet potatoes. Zucchini is a bit tricky, unless sliced super thin and air-fried in very small batches. But now I finally found a method to make it shine… Crispy, tender, and a reasonable amount can be divided in just two portions without turning the pieces into mush. If you don’t own an air-fryer, check the comments after the recipe.

CRISPY AIR-FRIED ZUCCHINI
(adapted from several sources)

3 medium zucchini
1 + 1/2 tablespoons grapeseed oil
2 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast (vegan friendly) or grated Parmigiano cheese
1 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

In a small bowl, mix Panko, nutritional yeast (or cheese), salt and pepper. Reserve.

Trim off the ends of the zucchini and cut into quarters lengthwise, then cut crosswise into 3/4-inch thick pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle the zucchini with the oil. Toss to coat.

Sprinkle the flour mix over the zucchini slices and mix gently to coat them.

Air-fry in two batches at 390F or as high as your fryer goes, for about 9 minutes, until golden brown. Shake the basket every once in a while. Once the first batch is done, air-fry the second portion, then join them both and air-fry for a minute or so together, just to heat the first batch again. You can also place the first portion in a low-oven to keep warm, but I found that not to be needed.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I used nutritional yeast simply because I love to play with ingredients and wanted to give it a try. It is salty and sharp, making it a very good substitute for cheese, so if you need to entertain a vegan guest, this recipe is for you. I am now finally satisfied with a method to air-fry zucchini, and suspect this will be a regular appearance in our meals. If you don’t own an air-fryer, use a 420F oven, spread the zucchini over a large baking sheet lined with parchment, and roast until golden brown, probably 20 to 25 minutes.

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RAW ZUCCHINI AND CHICKPEA SALAD WITH TAHINI YOGURT

This whole meal was superb, main dish and salad from Josette’s blog, that I am super fond of. The salad stole the show, but I will give you the link to the Turkish chicken so you can have the whole gastronomic experience. I would definitely serve this for company. Simple to put together, awesome in flavor and texture.


RAW ZUCCHINI AND CHICKPEA SALAD WITH TAHINI YOGURT
(slightly modified from Thebrookcook)

3/4 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
2 T tahini
zest from 1 large lemon, plus 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 tsp plus 2 T extra-virgin olive oil, divided, plus more to serve
Kosher salt and ground black pepper
15 1/2 ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
2 T red wine vinegar
2 tsp za’atar
2 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced on a diagonal
1/4 cup lightly packed fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tsp dried dill
ground sumac, to serve (optional)


In a medium bowl, whisk together the yogurt, tahini, lemon zest and juice, 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; set aside. In a large microwave-safe bowl, stir together the chickpeas, shallot, vinegar and za’atar. Cover and microwave for 90 seconds. Uncover and cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

When the chickpeas have cooled, stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons oil, the zucchini, mint, and dill. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the chickpea-zucchini mixture to a platter, spooning it around the edge. Scoop the yogurt mixture into a mound in the center of the chickpea-zucchini mixture.
Drizzle with additional oil and sprinkle with sumac, if using.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here


Comments: Totally in love with this preparation of zucchini, and leftovers tasted great too. We enjoyed it with another recipe from Josette’s site, Turkish Grilled Chicken Thighs with Yogurt Marinade (for full recipe, click here). Josette has a very similar taste in food, so I am always paying attention to her posts. If you don’t follow her yet, consider doing so…

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CHICKEN & ZUCCHINI STIR-FRY

Zucchini is a delicious vegetable but pretty tricky to stir-fry, as it can go mushy super quickly. Today I share a recipe that deals with this problem and results in a nice one-pot meal, flavorful and easy to put together. Just keep in mind you’ll need 30 minutes to draw the juices out of the zucchini slices, which is about the same time the chicken will need to marinate. Perfect timing!

ORIENTAL-STYLE CHICKEN AND ZUCCHINI STIR-FRY
(from the Bewitching Kitchen)

3 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
2 teaspoons salt
3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut in 1/2 inch pieces

to marinate the meat:
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons dry sherry
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cornstarch

for stir-fry:
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 bell pepper, sliced thin
1/2 Serrano pepper, finely minced
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tsp sesame oil
2 tsp cornstarch
salt to taste
roasted peanuts, about 1/3 cup
fresh cilantro leaves to serve

Prepare the zucchini by adding it to a large bowl and sprinkling the salt all over. Leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes. Rinse briefly to remove the salt, dry the slices over paper towel. They are now ready to use.

Marinate the chicken by mixing sherry, soy sauce, cornstarch and baking soda in a small bowl, and adding to the meat. Leave it for 30 minutes at room temperature.

Make the finishing sauce by mixing water, hoisin, soy, sesame oil and cornstarch. Reserve.

Heat the oil on a wok, add the chicken pieces and fry until golden brown on all sides. Remove to a bowl, add more oil if needed, sauté the bell pepper and Serrano pepper for a couple of minutes, seasoning lightly with salt. Increase the heat to high, add the zucchini slices, move them around for 10 seconds or so, add the chicken back, stir fry everything together for a minute. Add the finishing sauce, and heat it all together until it thickens slightly. Add peanuts, cilantro, and serve over steamed white rice.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: I really like the fact that marinating the meat and prepping the zucchini takes the same amount of time. Once that is out of the way, dinner will be ready in minutes, and all textures will be perfect. The zucchini cooks so quickly that you can also add it together with the finishing sauce and just heat it for a few minutes until it all thickens, making it even simpler. If you like more heat, add Sriracha or any other type of chili oil. Of course, for most people garlic and onion sauté with the bell peppers will be great too. As I always say, your kitchen, your rules… But definitely give this a try, you will not look at zucchini stir-fry the same way…

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CARROTS AND ZUCCHINI STIR-FRY WITH PEANUT SAUCE

Five days without our faithful goofy companion. I want to thank for all the comments in my previous post. I read each one, but cannot bring myself to answer them. Please consider yourself hugged.

This key to this recipe is slicing the carrots in ribbons, which is a bit of a labor of love, but worth it. Couple that with spiralized zucchini, and you’ll hit a jackpot. If you do not have a spiralizer, slice the zucchini very thinly and that will do. It is surprisingly hearty, and would be a great vegetarian meal if you add perhaps some farro and a slice of bread.

CARROT AND ZUCCHINI STIR-FRY WITH PEANUT SAUCE
(inspired by many sources)

3 carrots, sliced in ribbons (with a large veggie peeler)
2 large zucchini, spiralized fine
1 tablespoon grapeseed oil
grated ginger to taste
1 shallot, minced
salt and pepper

for the sauce:
2 tablespoons smooth peanut butter
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
1 tsp or more Sriracha sauce
drizzle of agave nectar
juice of 1/2 lemon
water to adjust consistency

Heat the oil in a non-stick large wok. Sautee the ginger and the shallot until fragrant. Add the veggies, stir-fry for a couple of minutes in high heat. Drizzle the sauce, you might not need the full amount, so that the veggies are not drenched. Cook for a couple of minutes more, stirring constantly to distribute the thick sauce well into the veggies.

Add the peanuts, and serve.

ENJOY!

to print the recipe, click here

Comments: If you want to make a bigger amount, you might have to stir-fry the veggies in two batches, then join them and finish with the sauce. As I mentioned, slicing the carrots is not the most enjoyable activity in the world, but it is a game changer. Just incorporate the Zen and go for it. The sauce is pretty delicious and would be awesome added on top of grilled pork tenderloin, which I intend to do soon.

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