Kohlrabi-zucchini empanadas

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The three zucchini plants that germinated, this year, were remarkably productive, the only plants — other than, arguably, some puny jalepenos that are finally coming in — nothing else produced much at all.  No doubt, cold spring, wet spring, dry summer…  It was a weird year — but they always are.  Even the tomatoes were useless.

But the zucchini plants were ridiculous.  One, in particular, was producing a well-endowed zucchini per day for several weeks.  The little squashes have never been given unusual regard — just another thing to be eaten, now and then, and one of those plants that doesn’t take much effort to grow successfully, like tomatoes, or beans.

The tomatoes had no pulp.  Just a shell and mostly useless, just good for garnish or salsa.  Beans, too, were a failure, and who can’t grow beans?  Beans are no brainers!  But this year, of the twenty seeds planted, only 4 bonsai vines emerged — none grew taller than twelve inches.  The envelope had to be checked to make sure that bush beans had not been bought — purportedly not…  Of those four plants, about a quart of beans were gathered and they were puny, tough and flavorless…

But the zucchini grew like crazy and by mid-July everyone agreed, no one wanted any more zucchini.  So it was breaded and fried, stuffed, noodled and made into moussaka.  It was stuffed into enchiladas, made into zucca-ghanouj, sauteed and shredded into loaves.  Finally, they idled in refrigerator drawers.

As fall approached, and as happens on occasion, a kohlrabi was picked up at the market, because they look like aliens and they’re fun to play with.  They are also sort of difficult to incorporate into meals, usually ending up as salad garnish or steamed — by which they are pretty good.

With the load of zucchini and an aging kohlrabi, so came about these empanadas, and remarkably good empanadas they were:  Steamed kohlrabi cubes and sauteed zucchini, caramalized onion, garlic queso fresco and a little bit of shredded fervido cerebros.   The kohlrabi gave a nice hautiness to the little pies, the onion a little texture, cheese chewy and the zucchini provided a nice amount of moisture.  Quite delicious.

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“When you read Marx (or Jesus) this way, you come to see that real wealth is not material wealth and real poverty is not just the lack of food, shelter, and clothing. Real poverty is the belief that the purpose of life is acquiring wealth and owning things. Real wealth is not the possession of property but the recognition that our deepest need, as human beings, is to keep developing our natural and acquired powers to relate to other human beings.”
Grace Lee Boggs

Mousaka

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Every time we make mousaka, I think we say it is the best we’ve ever had — this was the best we’ve ever had.  Mousaka is also one of the better places to hide one’s zucchini.

Generally, the instructions were abandoned and everything (except the potato which was awesomely fried) was chopped up and sauteed:  Zucchini, cauliflower and carrot.  The veggies mixed with the sauce — just topped with the bechamel:  Simple as that.

Colossal cucurbita differtus

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A vacation squash, left on the vine while spending time in the deep south, long enough to make Tim Curry proud.  It was only marginally softened after 45 at 425, but consumable, still, without too much off-puttance — especially so for the  delicious filling comprised of delicate broth bathed quinoa, toasted and cubed (last) sourdough, delightfully caramelized onions, finely minced fresh garlic, crushed-but-not-in-spirit pecan pieces, assorted seeds – pumpkin, sunflower, flax – sun sapped tomato, a tassel of tempeh and fair fistful of shredded mozzarella.  A shallow channel dredged atop made bed for a mellifluous marinara.  Totally zucchini’d out…  But could eat the filling all day.
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ZucchiNoodle ®

IMG_0792Zucchini sauce likely would have exceed the limits of tolerance:  Shards of squash seared with a sauce of caramelized onion, garlic, tomato and marinated tempeh – soy, dash Wooster, sugar, vinegar and a little unnecessary water.   Probably needed to tighten up the liquids just a touch, but the flavors still held, if more subtly than expected. Toasted seeds atop for texture.

Hash brown breakfast quiche with zucchini & mushroom

IMG_0579It’s always nice when the sum of the parts combine to form something better than expected — definitely the case with this little gem from the Cooking Jar.  Potato, zucchini and mushroom hit many favored notes (and cheese); the result was yet a sapid surprise.

It is a bit time consuming what with prepping the crust — a night before while you do a bit of reading task, perhaps — but mostly for baking, prep is pretty simple.