Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Zucchini Week - Veggie Pancakes and Spaghetti with Zucchini and Lemon

Welcome to Day Two of Zucchini Week!  After looking through my recipes, I'm having trouble narrowing down what to share with you.  Who knew I've cooked so much zucchini over the years?  (Not me!)

Today, I'm giving out two recipes - Veggie Pancakes and Spaghetti with Zucchini and Lemon.  Both of these are vegetarian recipes.  However, they do contain dairy and eggs.  The whole family here on the Farm likes the Spaghetti recipe.  The youngest Young'uns are not so found of the pancakes.  Ron and I love them.

So, without further ado...

Veggie Pancakes

3 cups veggies, grated or finely chopped  (Use whatever you have - our favorites are zucchini and carrots)
1 cup potato, grated
1/2 onion, grated or diced fine
4 eggs
1/2 to 1 cup bread crumbs (if you don't have these you can use crackers or flour)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated cheese

After grating the veggies, stick them in a colander and let them drain for 15-30 minutes.  Press the veggies a bit to get out any extra water.  Dump veggies in a bowl add eggs, salt and pepper.  Mix.  Add bread crumbs and mix until dough forms.  This won't be a dough like bread dough - it will be very wet.  You just want it all to be sticking together and not really runny.  Add cheese and mix again.  Form into patties and cook in a frying pan (might need a bit of oil on the pan) or on an electric griddle.  Feeds 4 people.  I double this for sure when I make them.

A few notes
-a food processor makes this one much faster
-feel free to add fresh herbs
-we usually use cheddar cheese but others are great too
-never buy bread crumbs! I save the heels of our bread in a bread bag in the freezer.  When the bag starts to take over your freezer, I run it through my food processor.  Viola!  Bread crumbs.  You can put them into a Ziploc bag and keep them in the freezer until you need them.  I've also spread them out on a cookie sheet and baked them at 300 for about 10 minutes or until they were crispy.  I freeze them this way too.
-these aren't nearly as good if you use all flour when making them, but using some to firm up the dough is fine
-you can make a Greek version using all zucchini, some mint, and feta cheese.  Oh my yummy!

Spaghetti with Zucchini and Lemon

1 lb spaghetti or linguine
1 T olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced or pressed
6-8 small, tender zucchini, sliced (about 4 cups)
dash of salt and pepper
juice of 1 lemon
6 large fresh basil leaves, cut into thin strips
1-2 cups grated cheese, Parmesan is best, but mozzarella will work

Cook pasta according to package directions. 

While pasta cooks, heat the olive oil in a large heavy skillet.  Add the garlic and zucchini and saute over medium high heat until the zucchini begins to brown.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Add lemon juice and basil, stir, and remove from heat.  This should be done just before the pasta gets done.  Drain pasta and toss in a big bowl with about 1 cup of cheese.  Top with the zucchini and serve right away.  Serves at least 4 people.

A few notes
-this one is really fast to make!
-dried basil works, too
-to cut fresh basil - stack the leaves and roll them then cut across into thin strips
-the zucchini mixture (without the pasta) works great as a side dish, in soup with chicken broth or even in an omelet

Happy Eating!

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