This summer we were lucky enough to travel. While it was amazing to visit with so many friends and family, we spent a lot of time out of our routines and on the go. It occurred to us that maybe our the boys had had enough when one of them asked, “Where are we sleeping tonight?”. Although I’m glad to be back into the school routines, I will miss the adventures we had.
The summer started with a family bike trip in Ohio. It was our first long bike trip (68 miles in 2 days) with the kids where we didn’t have terrible bike troubles. All in all it was very rewarding, great to catch up with family and I have the feeling it may have been the first of many bike adventures to come. After the bike ride we traveled to KY to visit my folks. Hot, hot, hot. If it wasn’t hot, it was hot and humid! My parents were heavy into gardening and it is always good to share that with our kids. I, however preferred the air conditioning!
In July, we spent an amazing week in Canada visiting family, touring the islands and visiting Victoria. We packed a lot into that week including ferry trips, airplane rides and sight seeing. I would recommend that area to anyone with young kids. The city was so charming and packed with fun stuff to do.
At the end of our summer vacation we squeezed in a trip to see family and friends in Minnesota and Wisconsin. There were boat rides, camp fires, walks and always good food. This is actually where my inspiration for this recipe came about. I was handed an armful of bags full of veggies from my in-law’s CSA which needed to be eaten. Feeling the pressure, I wanted to come up with something a little more than a vegetable medley or a bunch of steamed side dishes.
I had a great recipe for parsnip latkes and decided these lovely zucchinis could take center stage. The best part of latkes is packing them with tons of scallions, both the white and green parts. After cooking, it adds such a nice sweet, mild onion flavor. All you have to do is make sure the white parts are separated so you won’t get a mouthful at once.
Zucchinis have a lot of liquid. Here are two tricks to drain them so your latkes aren’t soggy. If you have time, use a colander or strainer. The one pictured above I purchased at IKEA and it fits over my sink which allows the liquid to drain without having a catch tray. To help speed up the process I added a teaspoon of salt to the shredded veggies to help draw out the water.
The second method I used was manually pressing the shredded veggies with my hand. I placed about 2 cups of veggies in a 2 cup measuring cup, placed my whole hand inside and pressed with my knuckles careful not to lose any of the veggies out the sides. You can really extract a lot of liquid this way. Be careful not to damage the shreds by pushing too hard though or you will be left with broken pieces rather than shreds.
The addition of curry powder in this recipe with the peanut sauce takes these latkes to the next level of awesomeness. Combined with a small amount of coconut oil, cilantro, scallions, garlic and ginger make this a dish you could have on it’s own. They are so full of flavor.
As you mix all the ingredients together, don’t be afraid to taste the mixture at this point. It would be the perfect time to adjust the flavor.
When I made these the first time, we fried them in coconut oil. A delicious choice. However, for this recipe I chose to bake them to try something different. Both ways came out great and were crispy.
Make sure to use parchment paper when baking to keep them from sticking to the pan. Also, to get those nice crunchy edges, you will need to flip them half way through baking. It also requires a high heat oven.
The latkes cooked best when gently pressed flat and formed about 2 1/2 to 3 inches in diameter. Try as hard as you can to wait to eat them with the peanut sauce although from experience that it is nearly impossible!
Another great tip is to prepare the sauce as the latkes are cooking so you have no excuses. These were a huge hit when I made them both times. It was a great use of those loads of zucchini and scallions. The flavors are bold, exciting and rich.
So, skip the zucchini bread this time and try these out. When I was handed these veggies at my in laws, I felt like I was on the show “chopped”. I stepped up and the result was pretty great. I think you will agree if you try these. Although they are a little more labor extensive, they are certainly worth the effort. Enjoy and let me know how they work for you!