Saturday, November 14, 2009

Zucchini Fritti !

At this time of year, the zucchini plants need to be checked on daily as they are producing loads of fruit. Leave them for a week and you come back to find a giant zeppelin marrow has appeared which is tough and tasteless. My favourite way of cooking them is to coat small ones, which have been sliced in half, with flour or with a batter and fry them for a few minutes in olive oil. Even the individual non fruit producing male flowers can also be used in this way and I like them stuffed with rice and pine nuts .They are delicious cold if there are any left over. Zucchini also cooks well with tomatoes and garlic and make a perfect pasta sauce when made in this way.
This is an easy vegetable to grow and as long as you dig in some good compost before planting there are few problems in growing them .That said ,by January or February powdery mildew has attacked the leaves and the bush is usually spent. A second crop can be started in February which will produce well into Autumn. Black Jack, Romanesque, or Greyzini are the usual varieties available as seeds or seedlings. Another variety Niggerboy which was highly recommended in Australian gardening books as late as the 1980's has disappeared in the interests of political correctness.
Again if you have too many you can always pickle the excess.Here is a recipe for Zucchini Pickle from the book The Gourmet's Garden by Sam Orr which was published by Ure Smith in Sydney in 1975. This is a great vegetable gardening book and still available in second hand bookstores.
Zucchini Pickle

You need one kilo of zucchini and half that amount of mild onions, a quarter of a kilo of sugar, around three quarters of a litre of vinegar, a good tablespoon each of flour and turmeric and some pickling spice.
Chop the onions and zucchini, salt and leave overnight. The next day drain and slowly simmer with the vinegar, pickling spice and sugar. Combine the turmeric and flour with a little water until it creams and then add to the mixture in the pot. Simmer for a few minutes more . Put into warm jars and seal when cold.


  1. The fritters sound very appetising! We make fritters with the flowers of the pumpkin almost the same way, but some chilli powder is added to the batter.

  2. Ian... I like your cooking style & tips! Your 'zeppelin humor' was not lost either. It is always nice to have a garden that produces beauty and nourishment.

  3. Love posts on vegetables which have a recipe at the end. Even if, sadly, it's not zucchini time in this hemisphere ...

    Found you on Blotanical incidentally. Hope we'll see you there a lot.