Zoodles, Zrilling + Fritterz
Summer has a way of giving us zucchini.
What to do with all this abundance? We make noodles. We grill em. And we make fritters. Zucchini has a high water content, so anytime you salt it, a lot of that water is going to come right out. If you’re trying to freeze it, grill it, or make fritters, that is a good thing. *
You can also opt to preserve summer’s abundance for winter. If you’re concerned about consuming Genetically Modified Organisms, you really want to do this. Conventional summer squash is at high risk for being genetically modified.
Zoodles can be substituted for pasta 100%. It’s summertime, and I tell you, you have no need for grain-based pasta! You can also “cut” your normal pasta with zucchini noodles—it’s an easy way to kick up your fruit & vegetable intake without even noticing.
Why would you do that? Zucchini is high in eye-protecting lutein, β-carotene, and zeaxanthin, and it’s a good source of Vitamin C.
For cooking purposes, all the varieties of summer squash we grow are completely interchangeable.
SIMPLE GRILLED ZUCCHINI WITH BASIL AND EVOO
Slice zucchini in 1/2-inch planks, longwise.
If you have an extra minute, slice and salt the zucchini before you grill it. Shake off any water droplets that form. Shedding a little extra water helps your zucchini grill better.
Preheat the grill so it’s nice and hot.
Set the zucchini planks on the grill diagonally. This is entirely superficial. We like our grill marks on the diagonal at Bluestem Farm.
In a couple minutes, flip em.
In a couple minutes more, flip them again, but so they make charming X-shaped grill marks on the first side.
Do that again on the second side.
When the zucchini planks yield to the point of a sharp knife, pull them off the grill to a plate. After they’ve cooled a titch, slice them in 3/4 inch rays, toss them with a bunch of basil, and drizzle with some high-quality olive oil. Serve cold or warm with copious torn-up basil.
If you end up deciding to add tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, more to the good.
This keeps well for about half a week in the fridge, as leftovers.
2 ordinary-sized zucchini, or summer squash of any kind
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 bunches of herbs (we like summer savory + oregano)
2 tablespoons of any flour you like
Shred your zucchini and salt them. Let them sit for a while—as long as an hour is good, but even a few minutes is helpful. The zucchini will shed a surprising amount of water. Set the shredded, salted zucchini in a colander over a sink or bowl. Or use a regular bowl and just grab double handfuls of the salted squash, and squeeze out as much water as you can over the sink before adding any other ingredients.
If you’ve got a superabundance of squash on your hands, and need to take measures, stop here.
You’re going to preserve this great stuff for winter. Squeeze out your shredded, salted squash really well and stuff it in 2-cup amounts into zippered sandwich bags, and freeze them. This method helps them freeze into hard, space-efficient planks. Use frozen zucchini in wintertime for zucchini bread or fritters.
If you’re cooking fritters for now, take your salted, squeezed squash and toss it with the egg, herbs, and flour until incorporated.
Roll a good dollop of saved bacon fat or oil into the bottom of a cast-iron pan. Turn the heat way up. I use medium-high on my biggest burner. By hand or by spoon, drop spoonfuls of batter into the very hot pan. Mash them down a bit with the back of a spoon if they seem to need it.
Fry the fritters for several minutes. Obviously, you want a good golden brown crust.
Flip them over and repeat the cooking process.
We love serving these with a healthy dollop of garlic scape pesto.
NB: One bunch of added chopped herbs is fine, but 2 bunches is even better.
We like to make zucchini noodles with a device that’s as simple and functional as a pencil sharpener.
Don’t salt them.
Saute them til al dente in EVOO.
Serve with any sauce you like.
*We never salt zoodles, or zucchini noodles, before serving. They loose shape. They continue to get watery. They make the sauce all wet, and it doesn’t stop.