Throughout the remainder of 2023, we’ll revisit People Choice posts and favorite recipes of the past decade, in honor of The Food Party’s! 10th Anniversary.
Here’s a classic recipe for the season. It was featured in 2016 after starring at the Woodside Elementary School Garden Fest. The school hosts an amazing organic garden – certainly a pride of Woodside.
When summer squash starts taking over your garden or crowding out tables at the farmers markets, this recipe offers solution. What ‘s great about it is flexibility - use up extra cheese, nuts and seeds (mix and match what you have) and showcase home-grown or other herbs of choice. Replace zucchini with any shredded vegetable, including raw winter squash. Substitute ingredients and clean out your fridge!
Chickpea flour replaces the usual white flour as the binder, creating a gluten-free alternative with added protein and complexity, and fewer carbohydrates. Miso (a salty Japanese bean and grain paste) bumps up the umami in the tomato topping. Both offer umami, and when you combine them, they play off and heighten each other. Umami begets umami.
Umami is the 5th taste after sweet, sour, salty and bitter. Many think the rich savory taste is only found in animal foods, but look to plants too such as mushrooms, tomato, roasted peppers, soy sauce and sea vegetables. Parmesan cheese is also a good source.
The illustration below highlights why umami is so important in culinary. Notice how the taste sensation stimulates much more of the tongue than the other tastes.
- graphic courtesy MOB8NP
Garden Zucchini Pancakes with Umami Tomato
3 cups grated zucchini
1/2 cup scallions or chives
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 tablespoons chickpea flour
1/3 cup herbs of choice: dill, parsley, basil, rosemary, etc., chopped
1?2 cup feta cheese crumbled
2/3 cup walnuts, chopped (optional)
Umami Tomato (recipe follows)
Place zucchini in a strainer with mix with some salt. Let stand 30 minutes. Squeeze out as much water as possible. I squeeze it in a towel. In a large bowl, combine the zucchini – walnuts.
Add olive oil to a saute? skillet (I use cast iron). Drop batter in and fry till golden brown, a few minutes each side. Top with Umami Tomato.
1 medium homegrown tomato, diced small
1 teaspoon white miso
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Mix tomato and miso, breaking up any clumps of miso. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- photos by LSIC unless noted