I love working in libraries. Besides my duties of helping people, solving book-related mysteries, organizing, and my shameless love of librarian fashion - library people love food. I've been very fortunate to work in libraries where people love bringing in snacks, freshly baked goodies, and fresh produce grown in their own back yards! Did I just convert some of you to librarians? Last week, I was lucky enough to be here when my coworker, Steve, brought in some Zucchinis from his garden. Gorgeous zucchinis that I cut into so quickly, that this is the only picture I have of them in their natural state:
I took that zucchini home with a mission, but I had no idea on the culinary adventure I was about to embark. My first dish was the obvious choice, zucchini bread (see recipe here). I love me some zucchini bread. The other half of the zucchini pictured above is here, pictured below.
There's more to zucchini bread than just zucchini! There's a fluffy, yummy batter that must be made.
And when you add the shredded Zucchini to the creamy, sweet, batter, you get a really crowded bowl.
After it's in the oven for a while, you get something so delicious, it's hard to share.
But, being the public servant of a librarian that I am, I convinced Mr. B to let me take half of the loaf to work.
My favorite thing to make with zucchini bread are sandwiches. The bread itself is so moist and flavorful, that all I had to provide was a slice of cheese and some turkey - and it was perfect. Especially toasted! Now, what to do with all of that leftover zucchini? Well, I still had lots of fancy cheeses from last week's fancy pasta, so why not make another fancy baked pasta, with zucchini, right? And that's what I did.
Is anyone else as obsessed with micro graters as I am?
I have been using my daily! I sauteed my zucchinis with some basil, garlic, pepper, and butter.
I then added some cream, ricotta, my grated parmesan and fontinella.
It was fabulous.
I made this same dish 2 days later, that's how fabulous - and easy! Can you believe I still had zucchini left over after this, still? What's even more amazing is that after a few days, I still had leftover zucchini bread! It was at that moment, I remembered a recipe that Mr. B's cousin, Josh, had been raving about for shirred eggs. I wondered. Then I went to it.
I buttered my ramekin, nice and plenty. Remember this guy?
Yep. That's the zucchini bread! Josh's original recipe did not call for any bread (rather, meats like prosciutto, bacon, etc..), but I thought why not? Though, I still didn't skimp on his orders, I added some cut up sausage.
Then the real star of the recipe, eggs.
Brian's egg yolks broke, but he didn't seem to mind. Me? I like my egg yolks nice and runny. I then transferred the ramekins to a baking dish and baked them for approximately 10 minutes at 350.
I added a splash or two of cream, some salt and pepper, and a basil leaf. This is where Josh usually adds tomatoes or peppers - which we had none of. But we did have cheese. Glorious cheese. Grated using my favorite micro grater, of course! Then, back in the oven until golden.
Don't these look fancy?
I felt really fancy, just eating one!
I especially love the way the basil leaf is peeking at you, from under all of the cheeses.
I guess I could have thrown in a few zucchini slivers too! Then again, what would I have left to grill then?
Grilled zucchini with a little olive oil, garlic salt, and paprika. A delicious compliment to our meal of yellow rice and crispy BBQ chicken...
See! A culinary adventure! One that all started withe a zucchini! Needless to say, no leftovers this time. Instead, four very fun dishes and two very full bellies.