A new thing to do with zucchini

May 16, 2016

Zucchini parmesan. Good stuff.

Zucchini parmesan. Good stuff.

It was one of those dinners where I started out in one direction and wound up in another place. But it was a good place to be.

I started out to make zucchini lasagna. I wound up making spaghetti and meatballs for Child A and AGC 1, and zucchini parmesan, layered with ricotta cheese and topped with marinara sauce with meatballs.

Good stuff. Very possibly better than zucchini lasagna would have been.

The detour started when AGC 1 announced she did not like lasagna. OK, then, we’ll cook some noodles and put the sauce and meatballs over them.

The five-year-old chef makes meatballs.

The five-year-old chef makes meatballs.

She announced she didn’t like meatballs, either. This after she had made a dozen of them all by herself, after I showed her how. Didn’t want to taste the meatballs she made.

So the dinner choices went like this: Child A had pasta and meatballs. AGC 1 had pasta and tomato sauce; I dodged around the meatballs. And I had zucchini.

I had already sliced the zucchini and had it pressing between a couple of double layers of paper towels to draw some of the water out. I put a double layer of towels down, laid the sliced zucchini on top, salted it, and topped with another layer; then I put another cutting board on top of that and left them for about 45 minutes. Worked.

Then we had the change in plans, so I commenced to trying to figure out how I could either (a) use, or (b) save the zucchini. At first I was going to make both a small dish of lasagna and the pasta, and I decided I didn’t have enough sauce. So I decided, well, I’ll bread it and roast it and we’ll figure out what to do from there.

I dipped each slice — they were about 1/8 inch thick — in egg and cream beaten up together, and then dredged them in a mix of panko and parmigiano, seasoned with paprika and black pepper. Put them on a rack over a baking pan, and roasted them for about 20 minutes at 400.

I thought about just eating them as they were, and I thought about just putting some sauce and meatballs over some. But I kept thinking about that fresh, homemade ricotta. So I wound up putting down a layer of zucchini planks on a plate, topping them with some fresh ricotta, another layer of zucchini, and sauce and meatballs atop all. Then I nuked it just a bit to get rid of the chill on the cheese.

Good stuff. Lots of veggies, very few carbs, only a little bit of fat in the meatballs. I feel plumb virtuous.

Speaking of veggies — we have undergone a tragedy here. The damned rabbits have eaten my green beans. All six hills of ’em. It’s not so late I can’t replant…but I’ve got to figure out some way to keep the critters away first.

Stripped 'em bare. Damned bunnies.

Stripped ’em bare. Damned bunnies.

Wascally wabbits. Unfortunately, I don’t think the 16-gauge in the middle of town would work too well. The local constabulary might not understand.

You ‘n y’mama ‘n ’em hang with me this summer, if my little zucchini flowerbed garden produces as zucchini are wont to do, and the rabbits don’t develop an appetite for ’em, we’ll be trying all manner of zucchini dishes this summer.

 

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