Saturday, July 13, 2013

Neighborly Vegetables

James popped over to see our neighbors new mule (Kawasaki not long-eared) and came back loaded with giant vegetables.
"You can't go over there and come back empty handed," James explained. Our neighbors are very generous and have a prolific garden in addition to pastures and freezers full of grass fed beef. Their greenhouse started the growing season off early for our neighbors at Chileno Valley Ranch, so while my squash is still a tiny dream on a large orange flower, Sally's is already gigantic and overflowing the beds.
When we have those forgotten giant marrows in our garden I generally make soup or zucchini bread -- something with shredded squash so the sometimes tough skin doesn't become a feature of our dinner. Tonight I spun that shredded idea in a slightly different direction, crisply fried zucchini mozzarella pancakes.
I shredded zucchini and a couple shallots and added in minced garlic, a minced hot pepper (also a gift from our neighbor's garden), zest of one lemon and plenty of salt and pepper. To that mixture I added shredded fresh mozzarella -- I put that in the food processor and it took on the creamy texture of ricotta -- along with 3 eggs, about 1 cup of flour, and a handful of shredded parmesan cheese. I fried dollops of that batter in olive oil until golden brown and crisp and topped James' fritters with a lettuce mint pesto I made and froze earlier in the season when our garden was overflowing.

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