Tomato Thursday: Zucchini and Tomato Bake

Zucchini is popular plant in gardens, because it’s quite easy to grow and it easily produces lots of squashes. Sometimes it produces them too much. Here’s a tip for those who grow zucchini in their backyard and don’t know what to do with all of them. And of course for everyone else who loves zucchini.

The recipe is enough for 2-3 people, but it’s easy to make a bigger batch. Just take a bigger dish and use more zucchini and tomatoes.

loota

Zucchini and Tomato Bake

1 zucchini
2-3 tomatoes
salt, pepper
herbs (we used basil and oregano)
1 tbsp olive oil

Slice zucchini and tomatoes. Grease an oven proof dish and put a layer of zucchini on the bottom. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and herbs. Add a layer of tomatoes. Continue until all zucchini and tomato slices are in the dish. Drizzle the oil on top. Cover and bake in 200 Celsius degrees 30-45 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Remove the lid in the end of the baking if it looks like there’s too much liquid in the dish.

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Small Zucchini Quiches

Recipe for the veganized zucchini quiches we had on our Yugoslavian movie night.

Bučkerelice

Dough:
400g wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 dl mineral water

Filling:
3 zucchinis
salt
250 g tofu
2 tsp lemon juice
pepper
1 tsp basil
pinch of cayenne
3 garlic cloves
0,5 dl oil

Coarsely grate the zucchinis. Sprinkle with salt and drain in colander.

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add mineral water and quickly knead together. Divide in 8 balls and roll them flat circles. Preheat the oven to 200 Celsius degrees.

Crumble the tofu with your hands. Add drained zucchini and rest of the ingredients. Add more salt or other spices if needed. Put a generous layer of filling on each dough circle, but leave a border on the edges. Lift the edges up. Bake 20-30 minutes or until the crust and filling are slightly browned.

Midsummer Barbecue

Most Finns want to celebrate midsummer in the country, preferably on summer cottage. So do we, and luckily we had a chance to go to a friend’s cottage. The weather wasn’t good, but we had a nice time with sauna, swimming and of course yummy food. We had seitan, sweet potatoes, vegetables in foil pouches and corn on the grill.

Zucchini, onion, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, garlic and cherry tomatoes went inside the foil pouches.

Barbecued Vegetables

vegetables of your choice:
carrots, mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, garlic, onion etc.

aluminium foil

Sauce:
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp oil
2 tsp mustard
1-2 tsp chopped fresh rosemary
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil
t tsp sugar
salt and pepper

Cut the vegetables into bite size chunks. Boil harder vegetables like carrots for few minutes. Mix the sauce ingredients together. Cut the aluminium foil into big squares, put some vegetables and about a tbsp sauce on it. Close tightly and put on the grill.

Canning Season 2010 Has Started

If you have too many cucumbers, preserve some of them. Or if you find cheap cucumbers, buy some to make relish. Relishes and pickles are easy to make and they taste good during the long winter months when the cucumbers in the shops are expensive and bad quality. I used slicing cucumbers, but I think pickling cucumbers would be just as good too. You can also make zucchini relish with this recipe, just use 1 kg zucchini instead of cucumbers.

Cucumber Relish

1 kg cucumbers
1 bell pepper
2 onions
2 medium hot chili pods, deseeded (or to taste)
4 tbsp chopped dill
2 dl distilled vinegar
2 dl sugar
4 dl water
2 tsp salt
2 tsp green peppercorns

Grate the cucumbers coarsely (or dice small), chop the onions, dice bell pepper and mince chilies. Combine in a bowl with dill. Mix vinegar, sugar, water, salt and peppercorns in a pot. Put on stove, turn the heat on and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved. Bring to boil, lower the heat and slowly boil about 5 minutes. Put the cucumber mixture into clean glass jars and pour the hot liquid on them. Make sure there are some peppercorns in each jar. Close lids, let cool and store in cellar or fridge. Let sit at least few days, preferably couple of weeks, before serving.

Chickpeas, Fruits and Quinoa

Pineapple, banana, apples and other fruits are often used in dessert and other sweet things or salads, but they are great for savoury dishes too. Nomad isn’t the biggest fan of fruits in his main courses, but this time I was cooking only for myself so there was no need to care about what he likes. I had bananas and a can of pineapple chunks at home, and whipped up this stir fry.

Quinoa and fruity stri fry

Fruity Stir Fry

2 small onions
3 large garlic cloves or as much as you like
1 fresh chili (I added chilipowder too, because I didn’t have any ripe chilies and the green one I had, wasnt’t very hot)
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp curry powder
oil for frying
8 cm piece of zucchini
250 g cabbage
2 dl bamboo shoots
4 dl cooked chick peas (canned will be good too)
1  small can of pineapple chunks
1 banana
1 tbsp wheat flour
2 dl water
1 tbsp apple vinegar

quinoa, barley, rice or other grain of your choice

Slice onions, chop garlic coarsely, julienne zucchini and shred the cabbage. Heat the oil in a wok. Add spices and fry them about a minute, stirring all the time. Add onions and garlic, fry couple of minutes and add cabbage. If you are using hard winter cabbage, let it become a little soft before adding zucchini, but if you have soft summer cabbage add the zucchini right away. Fry the vegetables untill they start to become soft. Then add bamboo shoots, chick peas and pineapple chunks with juice, vinegar and 1,5 dl water. Bring to boil. Mix wheat flour with remaining 0,5 dl water and pour it to the wok. Stir well, add sliced banana, stir again and let boil 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with quinoa or other cooked grains.

Conclusion:

The food was tasty and I suppose it was pretty healty too, which is always a good combination. But even if I was satisfied with the result, I think it could have been better. I will make this again when my chilis are ripe and use a hotter chili or maybe two different kinds of chilis. I think I will also add some ginger and another banana.

Mushroom Pie Goes Tex-Mex

What to do with tons of mushrooms? When you already have grilled them, made pizza, pasta, salad and are really getting bored of them? Pie, of course, everyone loves pies! They are easy to make, taste good and they are great for lunch next day at work. This time I wanted to something different instead of regular mushroom-onion-cream filling. So I added some heat to it, but not too much, I wanted to be able to taste the mushrooms through the heat. If you prefer hotter pie, use medium or hot salsa and lots of jalapeño. You can also add fresh chili or chili powder to the spice list.

Mushroom pie with heat

Mushroom pie with heat

Crust:

100 g margarine
2 dl wheat flour
1 dl graham flour
1 tsp baking powder, mixed with flour
2-3 tbsp cold water

Filling:

3 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
0,5 tsp paprika
2 onions, including the green parts
2-3 garlic cloves
3 dl grated zucchini
5 big white mushrooms, sliced, julienned or diced
300 g mild salsa
jalapeño slices

Make the crust first. Mix margarine, flours and baking powder with your hands until it gets crumbly. Add little bit of water to make a dough. Greace a pie dish (diameter about 25cm) and spread the dough to it. Bake 10 minutes in 225 Celsius degrees.

Chop or slice the onions and garlic. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the spices and fry about a minute. Add onions and garlic and mix well. Add grated zucchini and sliced mushrooms. Simmer until the exess moisture is evaporated and add the salsa.

Apply the filling on the pre-baked pie crust. Put some jalapeño slices on top. Bake half an hour. Let the pie cool a bit before eating, the flavour is better when it’s not hot anymore.