Thursday, August 24, 2017

Take One BIG Zucchini...

I like a recipe that starts: "Take one big zucchini..." Or, you might say, "Prenez une grande courgette..." because this recipe is from France. It was included in a tourist brochure I picked up somewhere in the south of France in 1998. Wow, almost twenty years and I've been making this savoury zucchini loaf every summer since. It serves as a nice side dish
or a light main with a leafy side salad. I like to top it with a tomato-y marinara sauce but it's also good all on its own. Best of all,
it turns one huge zucchini into something warm and scrumptious. Seriously, most of us think "sweet" when discussing zucchini loaf, but that's not the French way. They take their calories not in sugar but in cheese. So give this a try and let me know if you won't still be making it twenty years from now :)

French Zucchini Loaf
1 big zucchini
3 eggs lightly beaten
1 clove garlic chopped
1/2 cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp chopped basil
1/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
Pinch of nutmeg
150 g grated gruyere cheese

Peel the zucchini, scoop out the seeds and cut into 1/2 inch-ish chunks. Steam the zucchini until soft to a fork.

In a big bowl, lightly beat the eggs. Stir in the remaining ingredients, then gently stir in the cooked zucchini.

Spoon the mixture into a buttered loaf pan. Bake at 375F for 30-40 minutes, until the egg is cooked in the centre of the loaf. Turn on the broiler and lightly brown the top into a cheesy crust.

Remove from the oven and let the loaf set for a few minutes. Cut into thick slices and serve warm. 

Post Script: the original French recipe did not include basil but I like it. It called for a "handful" of parsley which I measured out to about 1/2 cup, so don't worry about being too precise on that.

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