Last year was my first full spring and summer here in northern Virginia. The first landscaping task I took on was planting a vegetable and herb garden this past spring. I started modestly with creating a free-form bed against our ‘extra’ garage in the backyard. In the near future this bed will be a combination of landscape-style plants and herbs/vegetables.
I started most of the veggies from seed packets. The zucchini and lemon cucumber did really well. Everything else (basil, sage, okra, eggplant) not so much. So I planted the zucchini and lemon cucumber and bought some tomatoes and bell peppers to go in the garden as well. I though I had two okra seedlings but it turned out one was another lemon cucumber. I also planted a rosemary bush, lavendar, basil and Thai basil. Overall it was a nice little garden.
Oh…the zucchini. That grew and ripened first starting around the end of June…beginning of July. I forgot to mention that I LOVE zucchini. I planted 4-5 plants and since I’m the only one in my house that eats it, it sounds like a lot. NO ZUCCHINI ROTTED IN MY HOUSE THIS SUMMER …nor did I give any away! I know that sounds crazy but I ate a lot of zucchini.
Now I’d like to be able to brag at this point and show beautiful photos of healthy salads, perfect zoodles, maybe a stuffed zucchini or two. Nope, I fried those suckers. All.Summer.Long. I’d pull out a couple of zukes from the fridge and pin some wonderful recipes and then grab my deepest cast iron skillet and pour in the oil. I justified this with the fact my husband was eating them as well. He is not a zucchini fan but he tried one from my first batch and said, “Wow, you really can make anything taste good when you fry it.” That’s the Southern motto, baby!
I’m planning landscaping and gardening tasks for this coming spring and you can bet there will be zucchini in my garden again.
I never really followed a recipe. I just kept tinkering with the flours depending on my mood but a it would look something like this:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (or 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup corn meal or use a gluten free flour combo)
Spices (at least salt & pepper, I usually did a dash of cayenne too. One night I tried Old Bay)
1/2-3/4 cups milk (or buttermilk works great too!)
Slice the zucchini into 1/8-1/4 inch rounds (depending if you like them crunchier or with gooier centers)
Mix the flours and spices
Add milk a little at a time. Stir until a creamy, batter consistency
Add 2 inches of oil to a cast iron or other heavy pan. Heat to medium to medium high (really depends on your stove. You’ll be able to adjust after the first batch) Alternately use a deep fryer. When the oil bubbles when a drop of batter is added, it is ready.
Dip the zucchini rounds into the batter and gently slide into hot oil. It should take 3 minutes per side to reach a nice golden brown. If it’s too fast or slow, adjust your temperature.
Green Goddess-ish Dip
This dip was one reason my husband scarfed them down as fast as I did. I made a quick dip with cream cheese and a few shakes of Pampered Chef 3 Onion Rub (I don’t sell PC but I bet you could find a similar onion mix in the grocery store or mince onion, garlic and chives instead). If it’s too thick, add tablespoon or two of buttermilk, cream or milk.