I want you all to know we have not fallen off the face of the Earth. We have, in fact, gotten closer to the Earth.
We’ve moved, that is. Down from the 9th floor of a downtown apartment tower to a house.
A home in a quaint little neighborhood with parks nearby, bike lanes aplenty, and a farmer’s market within a mile. We couldn’t be more ecstatic. Ben has a painting studio, each cat has a room of one’s own (seriously, we joked there were enough rooms for one cat per room and they indeed each claimed a room), and I have a kitchen that functions! Best of all, the ground is right where it should be, just outside the windows, waiting for us to plant in the spring. It’s our own space to eat dinner in the backyard and build a fire pit and plant as many fruit trees as we see fit.
We’re in heaven, ironically, now that we are closer to the earth.
From our container garden, which has now exploded onto our yard, we've harvested some of our figs and our carrots keep on coming!
And, I have been cooking and baking and taking pictures, but instead of posting them and sharing stories from our lives, I’ve been packing, making decisions, unpacking, making more decisions, making still more decisions, cleaning, making more decisions, and celebrating. Our farm share has been providing us with an abundance of vegetables the past month and we have been using them well.
This is what Ben made us for lunch this past weekend. A colorful Greek salad with vegetables from our farm share - just look at the pretty tri-color cherry tomatoes! They were so sweet and delicious!
Right about now you are probably sick of trying to come up with ways to use all of that zucchini you got from your neighbor, the farmers market, or your own garden. Well, I have a little secret – I honestly could never get tired of zucchini and I am always coming up with new ways to eat it, even if some “new” ways aren’t that different from other ways :)
In the past few weeks we have been blessed with lots of zucchini, including donations from a friend whose garden is exploding in vegetables right now. We made two dishes using shredded zucchini – one inspired by a dish Ben had at a restaurant when he lived in Maryland and another is what I call the lazy version of that dish. I will share with you the lazy version and you can make it the not-lazy version as you wish. I call the lazy version zucchini pie and the not lazy version zucchini cakes. So sweet they are.
This is a great base recipe; feel free to add or change what you want. You can add artichoke hearts or kalamata olives or spinach… the options are endless. If you want to be not lazy, shape the mixture into balls and flatten onto a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, to make cakes. You can fry them up as well and serve with fried eggs!
What you will need:
About 2 cups of shredded zucchini
½ of a red onion, shredded
4-5 small-ish potatoes, shredded
½ a block of feta cheese, cut into ¼ to ½-inch chunks
¼ cup pine nuts, toasted
¼ cup sorghum or millet flour
¼ cup almond flour
2 tsp sea salt
Garlic, pepper, and basil to taste
9-inch pie plate
Begin by greasing your pie plate with the butter.
Place the shredded zucchini into your colander in your sink. Mix in the sea salt and let sit for about 10-15 minutes and allow water to drain. With a big spoon, push down on the zucchini to squeeze out water. Wait a few more minutes (go and check your email or something to distract yourself). Squeeze some more water out. Then mix in the shredded potato, onion, pine nuts, sorghum flour, egg, and seasonings. Then stir in all but a few of the feta chunks.
Spoon the mixture into your pie plate and flatten with the back of your spoon. Sprinkle the almond flour on top. Mash down the remaining feta chunks with a fork and sprinkle over the almond flour.
Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes. You may need to loosely cover with aluminum foil if it begins to brown too much.
Teaching a workshop in Sicily — October 2017
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