Zucchini slice and too many zucchinis

Listening: Armchair Expert – Experts on Expert – Peggy Orenstein

I don’t want to read your ramblings, I just want the recipe: Jump to the recipe

Star Rating: Four stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

I re-started deliveries from Imperfect Produce this year, and I like that it challenges me to find some different recipes outside of what I’d normally make. I love trying new recipes but I’m also often lazy, and when there’s a bunch of tasty stuff I know how to make with my eyes closed, I fall back on my go-tos when I’m feeling tired or too busy or just lacking in imagination.

This week’s deliver had both zucchinis and summer squash and while I’ll make some into zoodles and probably roast some cut into chunks, there were way too many to use before they go off.

Enter the humble zucchini slice. This is an Australian favourite – I should try to delve into where our obsession came from, but I remember working at Yahoo!7 in the late 2000’s and zucchini slice was the #1 recipe for SEO at the time. The Aussie version includes bacon and cheese, so I tried to make a different version that was still delicious but didn’t depend on these ingredients for flavour. I almost managed it, but I’d make some changes next time (mostly salt related).

Also, I’ve reintroduced eggs into my diet. I have no trouble not eating dairy. Not eating meat has been easier than expected. But eggs – man. My friend, Anthea, exclaimed “But eggs?” when I told her I had become vegan, and we waxed lyrical about how wonderful eggs are. I did a bunch of research, and there is a brand called Misty Meadows Farms  which are pasture raised, organic, and cruelty free and come from just outside Seattle. I’m happy to pay a little extra to get them, and this has also made me much more mindful of my consumption.

So the recipe. Really, I made this up by combining the general base of a zucchini slice and stealing some of the ideas from Ottolenghi’s cauliflower cake. I used nutritional yeast to try to give it more of a cheesy flavour, and added a lot of garlic powder and paprika too. I still needed to use much more salt, and I’m sad I hadn’t thought about lining the pan with a mixture of black and white sesame seeds à la Ottolenghi. Regardless, it’s a good base and the addition of fresh herbs mixed through and perhaps something a little crunchy like pepitas on top would elevate this even more.

Recipe

Ingredients

Half a head of cauliflower, cut into florets

Half a head of broccoli, cut into florets

1/2 tablespoon olive oil

2 x medium zucchinis (or summer squash), grated

Half an onion, roughly diced

1/2 cup chickpea flour (60g)

1/4 cup nutritional yeast (20g)

6 large eggs

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon smoked paprika

Salt and pepper to taste (you’ll want to add more salt that you think)

Optional

Fresh herbs – whatever you have to hand

Black and white sesame seeds to line the pan

Pepitas, friend onions, Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel seasoning

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 360F/180C
  2. Boil a large pot of water
  3. Add cauliflower to boiling water and set timer for 8 minutes
  4. After 3 minutes add broccoli to boiling water
  5. When timer goes off, immediately drain cauliflower and broccoli into a colander and rinse with cold water. Fill the pot you just used for boiling with cold water and add cauliflower and broccoli to cool down further. You will need to make sure that the pot isn’t still hot so might need to rinse a couple of times.
  6. Meanwhile grate your zucchinis into a large bowl.
  7. Dice onion and add to bowl.
  8. Add chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, paprika, salt and pepper; mix together.
  9. Crack eggs into separate bowl and whisk to combine.
  10. Drain broccoli and cauliflower, add to large bowl. If you’re adding herbs, add them now.
  11. Add eggs to large bowl with another generous grind of salt and gently stir to combine so mixture is evenly combined, but don’t over mix and break up vegetables.
  12. Grease a shallow dish (I used a 15cm x 30cm glass dish) with olive oil. If you’re using sesame seeds, now sprinkle across surface of dish. Try to distribute evenly, but don’t worry if there are some denser pockets.
  13. Pour mixture into dish and smooth out so it’s spread evenly.
  14. Place in oven. Check after 30 minutes and if it’s not quite done, leave in for another 5-10 minutes. Slice is done when I knife comes out clean.
  15. Let cool for 10 minutes, slice and serve by itself or with salad or any other side. Goes really well with hot sauce.

Note: Freezes well and is good to have on hand when you’re in a rush. Defrost on counter and heat in microwave or oven, depending on how much time you have.

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