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Julie Van Rosendaal

Our food guide Julie Van Rosendaal on what to do with all that zucchini being harvested from Calgary gardens right now.




Deep Dark Chocolate Sour Cream Zucchini Cake

1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup canola or other mild vegetable oil
1 3/4 cup sugar
2 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sour cream or plain yogurt
2 cups grated unpeeled zucchini (about 2 smallish, or 1 large)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts or chocolate chips, or both (optional)

Preheat oven to 325°F and spray a Bundt pan with nonstick spray. In a large bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugar on high speed with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes, until thick and pale yellow. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

In a smaller bowl, stir together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add a third to the butter mixture and beat just until blended; add half the sour cream and do the same. Repeat with another third of the flour mixture, the rest of the sour cream, and the rest of the flour. Stir in the zucchini and the nuts and/or chocolate chips, if you're using them, and pour the thick batter into the pan, smoothing the top.

Bake for an hour, until the top is cracked and springy to the touch. Invert onto a plate or cake stand while still warm. Serves 8-16.


Crispy Zucchini-Feta Fritters

1 large-ish or 2 medium-small zucchini
1 tsp. coarse salt
1/3-1/2 cup crumbled feta
1 large egg
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
Freshly ground pepper
Olive or canola oil, for cooking

Place a couple sheets of paper towel on a cutting board or work surface, and grate your zucchini onto it using the coarse side (the big holes) of a box grater. Sprinkle with salt and let sit a few minutes. Place another paper towel on top, gather up the zucchini inside the towels and wring out as much liquid as you can - if you like, squeeze it into a bowl and use the liquid in soup or pasta. (It will be salty.)

Transfer the shredded zucchini to a bowl, add the feta, then stir in the egg and some freshly ground black pepper, tossing to combine it all. In a small bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder, then stir it into the zucchini mixture.

In a large, heavy skillet, heat a generous drizzle of oil over medium-high heat. Drop the batter in large spoonfuls, then flatten with the spoon until they are 2-3″ in diameter. Cook for a few minutes, until the bottoms are golden, then flip and cook for another couple minutes on the other side. If they are browning too quickly, turn the heat down a bit. Transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel. If you like, keep them warm in a 250F oven while you cook the rest. Serve immediately, while still warm. Makes about a dozen fritters.

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