It’s the season of summer squash and tomatoes. What a wonderful season! I like zucchini croquettes. I wasn’t sure what to call these, in point of fact, because they’re almost like dumplings. They’re soft inside, crispy outside, with a pleasant denseness. They’re very flavorful with golden raisins, sage, oregano, garlic, pine nuts and a bit of sharp cheddar. They’re nice dipped in or covered with a sauce, and this time of year of course it’s going to be a tomato sauce! We ate them one day with fresh chopped tomatoes, basil, olive oil and balsamic, and one day with a simple cooked fresh tomato sauce. Good either way!
Here’s Dirt Dauber Blues by Memphis Minnie. We found such a large blueblack wasp in our store today! Nearly two inches!!
2 medium-sized zucchini (or other kind of summer squash)
2 T butter
pinch chili flakes
1 plump clove garlic, minced
2 T golden raisins, finely chopped
3 or 4 fresh sage leaves, minced
2 t fresh oregano, minced
2 pieces sandwich bread (Whole wheat or oatmeal work well)
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup pine nuts
pinch salt, lots of freshly grated pepper
1 t baking powder
1 t smoked paprika
1 large egg
1 cup grated sharp cheddar
juice of one lime
Preheat the oven to 425 and lightly coat a baking sheet with olive oil. Trim the squash and cut it into large chunks. Feed these into the grater blade of a food processor, or just grate them by hand. Set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, warm the butter. Add the chili flakes, garlic, raisins, and herbs and cook until the butter is frothy and the garlic starts to brown. Add the grated squash. Cook until all the juices are released and then until the pan is quite dry, the squash is reduced, and it starts to brown on the edges. You can add a splash of white wine or water if the pan gets too dry or the squash starts to burn. Set aside to cool slightly.
In the same food processor (you don’t need to wash it) or a large bowl, combine the bread and cornmeal and process until the bread is crumbly. Add the salt, pepper, bp, spices and pine nuts and whiz just to combine (you don’t want to grind the pine nuts too much. Add the egg, cheese, grated squash and lime juice, whizz to combine again. You should have a very thick moist batter. If it’s too dry you can add another egg or a dash of milk, but the zucchini should have enough moisture in it to bring everything together.
Drop by large spoonfuls onto a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes or so, until puffed and golden and baked all the way through. Serve with some sort of sauce. We did fresh chopped tomatoes and basil, because that’s the time of year it is!!