Our Spanish Passover continues…

Lauren is home, so we needed a vegetarian dinner option and opted for a Quajado, an egg, cheese and vegetable dish. For tonight, we used zucchini, feta and cheddar. The combination was simply delicious. Salty, rich and slightly sweet.

To complete the dinner we added a Spanish spinach dish with pine nuts and raisins. The combination was served on my grandmother’s beautiful depression glass plates.


from Chabad

1 medium onion, diced

1 Tbsp olive oil

6 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

6 cups zucchini, grated and left to drain in a colander

1 cup creamy feta cheese

1 cup grated cheddar

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste


Sauté the onion in the olive oil until soft.

Squeeze any excess moisture out of the grated zucchini.

Combine zucchini, onions, eggs, parsley and cheeses. Add salt and pepper to taste. Feta cheese is extremely salty so it may not need any salt at all.

Spoon into a greased 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for approximately 1 hour, until set.

Serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!

Serves 8.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Passover, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | Leave a comment

Minestrone for an Autumn Day

I went to one of our local farm stores and found this…

It’s a crookneck squash, and it is gigantic! It is about the size of 3 or 4 butternut squashes! So you will likely be seeing this, or parts of it, a few times over the next few weeks. This recipe used just 1/2 of the bulb section.

We also dove into out CSA box and pulled out some collard greens.

My daughter and I had been to one of my favorite Persian kabob restaurants in DC today, so I wanted a light dinner.  Time for some minestrone soup.

When you look at my pictures below, feel free to chuckle at the size pot I used. I don’t know what I was thinking.

Minestrone Soup

adapted from Cooking Classy

2 medium carrots, diced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 Tbsp olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups vegetable stock

2 1/2 cups 3/4-inch diced yukon gold potatoes

2 1/2 cups 3/4-inch diced crookneck or butternut squash (locally grown)

1 medium zucchini, sliced into half-moons or quarters

1 – 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes

1 tsp dried oregano (from the garden)

1 tsp dried thyme (from the garden)

2 bay leaves

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

2-inch parmesan rind

2/3 cup dry ditalini pasta

2 cups packed chopped collard greens (ribs removed)

1 – 14.5 oz can cannelini beans, drained and rinsed

Shaved parmesan cheese, for serving


Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add onions and carrots and saute 3 minutes then add garlic and saute 1 minute longer.

Stir in vegetable broth, potatoes, squash, zucchini, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, bay leaves, pamesan rind and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Bring to a boil then and stir in pasta if using. Cover, reduce heat to medium low and and simmer for 10 minutes, add the collard greens. Cover and cook another 5 minutes. Stir in the cannelini beans and cook until collard greens are tender, about 5 minutes longer. Remove bay leaves

If you want a thicker soup, use an immersion blender for about 10 seconds.

Serve warm topped with shaved parmesan cheese. Enjoy!

Serves 6 – 8.

Categories: Butternut Squash, Carrot, Kosher, Recipe, Soup, Vegetarian, Zucchini | Tags: | Leave a comment

Beef and Zucchini Chili

My super producing zucchini plant was destroyed in a summer storm, so I have been buying my zucchini from a variety of local farmers. The zucchini in this dish was from 2 different farms in Kent and Sussex Counties. They may not be my zucchini, but they are GOOD zucchini.

School is back in session, so our days are filling with sports and after school activities. So, time for some dinners I can make earlier in the day and have ready for a quick meal before we have to head out again. Chili is a perfect dish for that, I can make it and have it staying warm on the stove for the 15 minutes we are all in the house. Yes, I believe in family dinnertime, no matter how short it has to be, we all eat together.

I make several different chilis in different seasons.  This is a perfect summer chili – the zucchini brightens it up and it is bursting with flavor. It feels light and fresh (not something I usually say about chili). It took a great deal of restraint to stop at 1 bowl.

Beef and Zucchini Chili

adapted from Food Network Magazine’s Beef and Summer Squash Chili

1 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 lb ground beef chuck
1 onion, chopped
1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons chili powder
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
2 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chiles
1 15-ounce can pinto beans (do not drain)
2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch pieces (locally grown)
1 avocado, diced


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and brown, breaking up the meat as it cooks, about 3 minutes. Add the onion, poblano and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.

Stir in the chili powder, 1 teaspoon salt and a few grinds of pepper. Cook, stirring, until combined, about 1 minute.

Add the tomatoes, beans and their liquid to the pot; bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes.

Add the zucchini and stir to mix in. Partially cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender and the chili thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Season with salt if necessary.

Top each serving of chili with avocado. Serve with tortilla chips and enjoy!

Serves 5.

Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Zucchini | Leave a comment

Andalusian Gazpacho & Catalan Vegetable Paella

Tonight’s dinner brought me back to my trip with my daughters to Barcelona last November.  Or, should I say, MAKING tonight’s dinner brought me back to our cooking class in Barcelona. I even used the recipe for gazpacho that Emily made that night.


But tonight we served it in glasses.

As our main meal I made a vegetable paella…

Both dishes were full of beautiful vegetables and herbs from my garden.

Memories of Spain… garden vegetables… a satisfying vegetarian dinner… happiness.

Andalusian Gazpacho

from Barcelona Cooking

6 tomatoes (from the garden)

1/2 cucumber (from the garden)

1 garlic clove

1 small jalapeno pepper (from the garden)

1/2 red pepper

300 ml water

2 Tbsp sherry vinegar

1 slice bread (or 1 small homemade roll)

2 Tbsp olive oil


Grate the tomatoes and cut up all the vegetables.

Set aside a little  (1 – 2 ounces) of the cucumber, green pepper and red pepper and dice them very finely to garnish the gazpacho.

Soak the bread in the water and vinegar.

In a bowl, mix all the vegetables together and pour the soaked bread in and blend while adding olive oil to emulsify.

Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Garnish, serve and enjoy!

Serves 4

Catalan Vegetable Paella

from Perla Meyers

tablespoons olive oil1 small fresh green chili pepper, finely minced (from the garden)

1 large Bermuda onion, peeled, quartered and thinly sliced

1 large red bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

1 large green bell pepper, cored, seeded and thinly sliced

2 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced

1 ½ teaspoon imported paprika

1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (from the garden)

1 medium-sized zucchini, trimmed and cubed (from the garden)

4 large ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded and chopped (from the garden)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 ¼ cups arborio rice

2 cups chicken stock or bouillon

Finely minced fresh parsley for garnish (from the garden)


In a large deep, 12-inch iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chili pepper, onion and bell peppers, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and the onion is lightly browned.

Add the garlic, paprika, thyme, zucchini and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the skillet and simmer for 15 minutes.

Stir in the rice and chicken stock or bouillon and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice is tender. Taste and correct the seasoning. Garnish with finely minced parsley.

Serve the paella hot as an accompaniment to roasted or grilled meats or as a light Sunday supper, directly from the skillet, accompanied by a well-seasoned green salad. The paella can also be served at room temperature, doused with fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of fruity olive oil.

Serves 4 – 6



Categories: Cucumber, Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Soup, Tomatoes, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 1 Comment

Zucchini Bread Waffles

“These are the best waffles ever!!” – was my 7 year old’s reaction after his first bite.  And that was after complaining that he did not want waffles for breakfast today.

I have been busy making zucchini breads – our one “must have” each summer.  Slowly filling the freezer with them.  I usually also make zucchini bread pancakes at least once, but decided to convert it to a waffle recipe this year.  Adding the crunchiness of waffles was great.  One of my favorite waffles as well!


Zucchini Bread Waffles

Adapted from The Smitten Kitchen’s Zucchini Bread Pancakes

2 large eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons light brown sugar

1/4 cup buttermilk or 2 tablespoons each of milk and plain yogurt, whisked until smooth

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups shredded zucchini (from the garden)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 cup whole wheat flour

1/4 teaspoon table salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


In a large bowl, combine eggs, olive oil, sugar, buttermilk and vanilla until smooth.

Stir in zucchini.

In a smaller bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon. Stir dry ingredients into zucchini batter, mixing until just combined.

Preheat oven to 200°F and place a tray on a middle rack.

Heat a waffle iron and spoon 1/3 cup mixture for each waffle.  Cook til your desired doneness.

Transfer waffles to prepared pan to keep warm as well as ensure that they’re all cooked through when they’re served. Repeat with remaining batter. Serve warm. Enjoy!

Makes 6 waffles

Categories: Breakfast, Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 1 Comment

Kuku-ye Kadoo (Persian Zucchini Omelet)

Italians have their frittata, Spaniards have tortillas, and Persians have kukus. They are all similar, yet distinct from each other.  The kuku gets its flavor from saffron – which is ground with sugar and dissolved in hot water.

My first introduction to the kuku was the second night during my first trip to Iran.  It was about 3 am and we had fallen asleep without eating dinner.  So when we woke up, my husband’s sister-in-law made tuna kuku for us. Ever since then, kukus bring me a feeling of being nurtured.


The star of this kuku is zucchini from my garden – or kadoo, as it is called in Farsi.


I like kukus with a good salad, here I paired it with a cucumber, tomato and feta salad – a bright, light, yet satisfying dinner.


Kuku-ye Kadoo (Persian Zucchini Omelet)

2 medium zucchini, sliced thinly (from the garden)

8 eggs (from Farmer Kim)

1 large onion, sliced

1/2 tsp saffron

2 Tbsp Sunflower or canola oil

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper


Prepare the saffron: grind the saffron with some sugar in a mortar and pestle.  Add a few spoons of hot water to dissolve the saffron.

In a large nonstick or cast iron skillet, add 1 Tbsp oil and fry the onions over medium heat until slightly golden. Remove to a plate with paper towels.


Add the other tablespoon of oil to the skillet.  Fry the zucchini in batches until golden browned.  Drain on paper towels.  Allow to cool.


Beat the eggs in a bowl with salt and black pepper to taste. Add the saffron and mix well.


Add the zucchini and onions, mix and adjust the seasoning.


Wipe out the pan, leaving a light coat of oil. Heat until hot.  Pour in the mix, flatten the surface with the back of a spoon and cook over medium heat until it starts to set through, about 5 to 10 minutes.

Cut the kuku into 4 wedges, turn over and cook for another 5 minutes.


Serve and enjoy!


Serves 4.


Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 3 Comments

Zucchini Chips

Harvest time! Zucchini has started.

Our first zucchini dish of the season was actually a request from my 7 year old – he wanted “those round things that are like potato chips, but you make them in the oven.” After trying to figure out what he was talking about, he said he thought they were cucumber chips. Then I got it – zucchini chips! He loves these.

It is a great way to get veggies into your kids, whether they are 7 or 23.  I pulled these out of the oven and Cam and Emily descended and the chips were gone in less than 2 minutes. Next time I need to make a larger batch.

Zucchini Chips

Based on Food Network Magazine

Zucchini, medium-sized is best (from the garden)

cooking spray

salt (kosher or sea salt)


Heat the oven to 250F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (may need more than one if making several zucchini). Spray generously with cooking spray.

Slice the zucchini 1/16 – 1/8 inch thick using a mandoline. Arrange on the baking sheet in a single layer – they will shrink, so they can be very close to each other, but they must be single layer. Spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt.

Bake for 50 minutes, turning the tray around after 25 minutes.

Flip the slices over and bake until browned, 30 – 40 more minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.


Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Zucchini | 2 Comments

Zucchini Tian with Curried Bread Crumbs

This was going to be my last dish with the zucchini from my garden, so I wanted it to be a good one.  This recipe intrigued me – curry AND rosemary – I wanted to make it, but I wasn’t positive that it was going to actually taste good.

Well, it lived up to the hopes for my farewell zucchini dish, it was full of deep, rich flavor, with a great texture contrast from the breadcrumbs and onion-tomato mixture.

I served it with rice, we ended up mixing it all together, yum!!  Definitely worth a try. But be prepared for a house smelling of curry…makes you want to eat more!

Zucchini Tian with Curried Bread Crumbs

By Melissa Clark

1 tablespoon curry powder7 ½ tablespoons olive oil1 ¼ cups whole-wheat or regularpanko bread crumbs2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt1 large white onion, halved and thinly sliced

2 teaspoons finely chopped rosemary

1 pint cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

¼ cup dry white wine

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon orange zest

½ teaspoon black pepper, more to taste

4 medium zucchini (about 1 1/2 pounds), thinly sliced (about 7 cups)


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, then add curry powder and let toast until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 2 tablespoons olive oil, then stir in panko bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a bowl and wipe out skillet.
In the same skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over high heat, then add onions, rosemary and 1 teaspoon salt. Cook for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring often, until onions are a deep golden brown.Add tomatoes and cook for another 5 minutes. Pour white wine into pan and bring to a simmer, scraping up any brown bits. Remove from heat and stir in garlic, orange zest and black pepper.Grease inside of a medium-size gratin dish with 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and spread a third of the onion and tomato mixture on the bottom. Begin layering zucchini in an overlapping pattern, beginning around the outside and working your way in.Sprinkle with a third of the bread crumbs. Repeat layering two more times, ending with bread crumbs.Drizzle 3 tablespoons olive oil over bread crumbs and bake for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until vegetables are extremely tender and top has browned.Serve with rice and Enjoy!

Serves 4 – 6.
Categories: Kosher, Main Dish, Recipe, Tomatoes, Vegetarian, Zucchini | Leave a comment

Khoresh Bademjun va Kadoo (Persian Eggplant & Zucchini Stew)

I had a medium-sized eggplant from a local farmer and  a tiny one from my garden, but not enough for Khoresh Bademjun. What to do? I really wanted Persian food. Of course, I also had plenty of zucchini from my garden. Why not try a Khoresh (stew) sing both vegetables?


Since our vegetarian daughter was home, no meat would go in this dish.  So I needed to to make sure there would be enough flavor and texture to the dish.  Layering was my approach.  First the fried onions and turmeric, topping that with the sliced tomatoes, then fried zucchini.


Finally, it all got sealed in by the fried eggplant.


And cooked until the flavors all blended together.  We dove in so fast that I did not get any pictures of the final plates before they were eaten. Since they really looked a lot like my other Khoresh Bademjuns, here is one of those to give you the idea….


This was an experiment that went very well.  I will be making this and trying more variations on it in the future. This is Happy Food.

Khoresh Bademjun va Kadoo (Persian Eggplant & Zucchini Stew)

Canola oil

1 medium eggplant (plus one tiny one from the garden), peeled and sliced about 1/4″ thick

1 large or 2 medium zucchini, cut into 1 1/2 to 2 ” chunks (from the garden)

1 large onion, sliced

1/2 tsp turmeric

3 tomatoes, sliced (from the garden)

1/2 cup water

Kosher salt


Place the eggplant in a colander and sprinkle with a good amount of salt.  Let sit for 20 – 30 minutes. Rinse off the salt and dry the slices.

In the meantime, place about 1/4 inch of oil in a large skillet (I like to use cast iron, but any non-stick will do).  Heat over medium-high heat.  Cook the zucchini in batches until lightly browned and cooked through, flipping once through cooking. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt.


Place the onion in the skillet, sprinkle with the turmeric and salt and cook until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and set aside.


Now, Fry the eggplant, in batches, until golden browned on each side, about 3 – 4 minutes per side.  Note:  it is preferable to overcook the eggplant rather than undercook it. Drain on paper towels. Sprinkle lightly with salt.


Drain the excess oil and wipe the skillet.  Begin layering with the onions, then the slices of tomatoes.


Add the zucchini.


Place the eggplant on top to seal the dish as much as possible.


Cover and cook over medium heat for 1 hour.

Serve with rice and pickles.  Enjoy!


Serves 4.


Categories: Eggplant, Kosher, Main Dish, Persian, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 1 Comment

Parmesan Zucchini Crisps

The zucchini are coming in fast and furious. Have I said that yet?

I don’t know where hey come from, I can go out in the morning and pick the plants clean and by night-time, more appear!

As predicted, zucchini breads are starting to fill my freezer (I have made 8 in the past week alone). And still, my fridge is filled with zucchini. So it is time to add zucchini side dishes whenever possible. I hit on a winner tonight – an adaptation of Ellie Krieger’s Parmesan Zucchini Crisps.  They were these delicious (I could have eaten the entire try myself).


Sorry, we ate these too quickly for me to get a picture of them on the serving plate.

Zucchini Parmesan Crisps

slightly adapted from Ellie Krieger

Cooking spray
2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound total), (from the garden)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan (3/4-ounce)
1/4 cup Italian dry bread crumbs


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

Slice the zucchini into 1/4-inch thick rounds. In a medium bowl, toss the zucchini with the oil. In a small bowl, combine the Parmesan, bread crumbs, salt, and a few turns of pepper. Dip each round into the Parmesan mixture, coating it evenly on both sides, pressing the coating on to stick, and place in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.

Bake the zucchini rounds until browned and crisp, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove with spatula. Serve immediately.



Categories: Kosher, Recipe, Vegetarian, Zucchini | 1 Comment

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