Did you know that the zucchini is a summer squash and can reach about a meter in length? Zucchini, like all squash, has its ancestry in the Americas. However, the varieties of squash typically called “zucchini” were developed in Italy, many generations after their introduction from the New World. Come to Urban Growers Market tomorrow from 4 to 8pm and buy some from our growers. Here are three delicious recipes from Spade & Spatula.
Stir-fried Squash with Shrimp, Miso, Sweet Pepper and Chives
Combine 1 heaped tsp. of miso paste, 1 Tbs. mirin, 1/2 cup cold water, 1/2 Tbs. corn starch, and 1 tsp. soy sauce in a small bowl and stir until smooth. Set aside. Season 1/2 lb. peeled and deveined large shrimp with 1/2 Tbs. soy sauce and black pepper. Set aside. Heat 2 Tbs. vegetable oil in a wok or large saute pan. When shimmering hot, add the shrimp and cook, stirring occasionally, over high heat until pink and just cooked through, remove from the wok or pan and set aside in a bowl. Throw 1 cup deseeded and chopped sweet red pepper, and 1/2 medium onion, cut into small chunks, into the pan. Cook, stirring over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3/4 lb. baby zucchini and baby yellow squash, sliced thinly on the diagonal. Cook stirring for 2-3 minutes until nearly tender. Return the shrimp to the pan, and pour in the sauce ingredients. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 -2 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Stir in 1 Tbs. chopped chives, and remove from the heat. Serve straightaway with wild or brown rice.
Curried Squash with Garbanzo Beans
Saute 1 peeled and finely chopped medium onion in 2 Tbs. vegetable oil for 3 to 4 minutes, until golden and tender. Add 1/2 tsp. finely grated ginger and 2 large peeled and mashed garlic cloves. Continue to cook, stirring, for about 1 minute. Add 1 2-inch long cinnamon stick and 6 curry leaves (optional) or 1 dried bay leaf. Stir and cook for about 30 seconds. Add 1 lb crookneck squash which has been trimmed and cut into 1/2 inch chunks. Stir in 1 1/2 Tbs. curry powder, 1/4 tsp. ground cumin, 1/4 tsp. ground coriander, 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne and 1 tsp. salt. Stir well and cook for 2 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of vegetable or chicken broth. Rinse and drain 1/2 the contents of a 450g can of garbanzo beans and add to the curry. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. Once the squash is tender but not falling apart, stir in 1 1/2 Tbs. of Greek yogurt, being careful not to boil the curry or the yogurt will curdle. Add fresh lime juice to taste, then stir in 1 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro. Check seasoning, then remove curry from the heat, and serve with brown rice or heirloom quinoa.
Baked Stuffed Round Zucchini with Beef Ragu
Preheat the oven to 375F. Remove the stems from 4 to 6 round zucchini (weighing 1 1/2 lbs in total) and slice off the tops. Using a teaspoon, hollow out the centers of the zucchini, leaving empty shells about 1/4-inch thick. Finely chop the squash flesh and the sliced-off tops. Set aside. Place the zucchini shells on a baking dish. Season the insides with salt and pepper and brush the outsides with a little olive oil. Set aside. Heat 2 Tbs. olive oil in a skillet over medium to high heat. Saute 2 small, peeled and minced shallots until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and saute for 30 seconds, stirring. Add 1/2 lb. ground beef and cook stirring and breaking up any chunks over high heat until well browned and the mixture is dry. Add a glug of worcester, a few shakes of hot sauce or Tabasco, 1 tsp salt, 1 1/2 tsp. tomato paste, 1/4 tsp paprika and freshly ground black pepper. Stir well, then throw in 1/2 a 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes. Bring the mixture to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes, until all the liquid has evaporated. Stir in 1/2 tsp. balsamic vinegar and 1 Tbs. finely chopped fresh parsley, season to taste and remove from the heat. Fill the zucchini shells with the mixture (you’ll have leftover filling – just set aside), sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan over the top of the stuffed zucchini, and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes until the zucchini are cooked through. Serve hot with the extra filling on the side, and with quinoa.