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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Garden's Bounty: Zucchini Patties and Homemade Marinara

I'm relatively new at gardening, in fact this is only my third year planting a garden of my own.  I've really been blessed with beginner's luck and a bountiful garden from the beginning.  I've also learned that just because I can grow something doesn't mean that I should grow it...

My first garden was chock full of different veggies- tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, four types of bell peppers, an accidentally purchased lemon verbena plant, cayenne, jalapeños, poblano peppers, banana peppers, cucumbers, watermelon, honeydew melon, and cantaloupe.

I had a LOT of stuff going on out there- to be honest, more than I needed, especially pepper-wise.

My second garden was was just as large but the variety of plants was pretty pared down- tomatoes, jalapeños, banana peppers, zucchini, and cantaloupe.
lol I killed the cantaloupe and found myself with enough pickled peppers to last a lifetime and a freezer full of shredded zucchini.

This year I've kept it simple- not saying that's what you should do, but for my family I'm sticking with tomatoes, jalapeños, yellow bell peppers, and some experimental onions because that's really all I care about having massive amounts of canned during the colder months.

MASSIVE amounts.  That first year of gardening I canned marinara sauce, and while that's convenient when throwing dinner together in year two I found that I preferred to keep things simple and just can tomato sauce.  It left me with a more versatile canned good and I found that I could throw together an absolutely amazing marinara in less than half an hour with those garden-fresh canned tomatoes.

Three years ago when I first started my garden I had never canned anything in my life- but I had to do something with all of those tomatoes!  I took to the internet and came across this recipe from Fashionably Foodie.  I loved the simplicity of the recipe, fresh flavors, and that she walked me through the process from garden to plate.  I had been intimidated by the idea of making marinara and starting with whole, garden-ripe tomatoes but she made it so simple!

These days I follow the directions for canning tomato sauce from pickyourown.com (a WONDERFUL canning and preserving resource!) and then when I'm ready to make marinara with the canned sauce later in the year I use Fashionably Foodie's basic directions to make my marinara.  To be honest, I followed her recipe so many times after I found it that I don't really measure anything out at all anymore, I just sort of use her ingredient list as a basic guideline as I throw stuff in the sauce pan.  :-)

Aside from pasta, my absolute favorite way to serve marinara is with these Zucchini Patties from Allrecipes.com.  They are sooooo good.  Kind of like a zucchini latke...absolutely divine!  And an AWESOME way to use up all of that shredded zucchini in my freezer...  even my zucchini-hating family gets excited about them!

Modified from Allrecipes.com

2 cups grated zucchini (lightly salted and pressed between towels to remove excess moisture)
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/2 C bread crumbs
2 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil

1. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients except vegetable oil. Stir well enough to distribute ingredients evenly.

2. Heat a small amount of oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoonfuls, and cook for a few minutes on each side until golden.

28 comments:

  1. My family loves zucchini but I've never prepared it this way before. Looks really yummy, Nora!

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  2. this looks really yummy Nora. I could snack on this!

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    1. Definitely stackable- they're the perfect size!

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  3. What a great recipe and a wonderful way to use up all that summer zucchini everyone's growing! You've got a winner on your hands!

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    1. Thanks! lol without this recipe I would have been completely overwhelmed by my zucchini crop the last couple of years!

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  4. I made these tonight and they were a hit with my picky husband. I did add a couple of tablespoons of Mexican spicy bell pepper, used hot and spicy oregano and a tablespoon of Dr. LaMar's Seasoning. We didn't have any marina sauce so we used hot pepper mustard and that worked great. Next time I will make my patties thinner but they were really good.

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    1. That should read LaMar's Famous Seasoning

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    2. I'm so glad you enjoyed them! I've got a picky husband on my hands too. I'll have to try them with hot mustard next time, sounds fabulous!

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    3. Nora have you ever made the patties and frozen them? It made more than we could eat the first night and so I just put the rest of the batter in the fridge and made them again the second night but wondered about freezing the patties before cooking them. We decided we could eat these just about every night.

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    4. That's a great idea! I've never tried, but I'm sure it would be fine. After they have cooked and cooled, I would transfer them to wax paper in single layers on a baking sheet and freeze. After they have frozen completely, you should be able to transfer to a freezer bag (that's how I freeze lots of different appetizers ahead of time!). When you're ready to use them, reheat them in an oven at 400 F. I'm sure it will turn out well!

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    5. I was wondering about freezing them before I cooked them. What do you think?

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    6. Hmmm..you could definitely give it a try, but I would be concerned about them getting weepy and releasing extra liquid when they defrost if they're not cooked first.

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  5. Is this more of an appetizer or a main dish? It looks awesome!!!

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    1. Either, to be honest! They're great as a small snack, a side dish to an Italian meal, or serve a larger number of them (with salad and bread maybe?) to make them the main dish!

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  6. We eat them with cheese on a bun, Voila veggie burgers.

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  7. These were great and so easy to throw together. Thanks for the recipe!

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  8. Made these tonight as a side dish and even my picky teenage daughter loves them and asked for more. Thanks for the recipe.

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  9. How can I print one of your recipes.

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  10. Do you peel the zucchini before shredding it?

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    1. Hi Camille! No, I do not peel the zucchini first.

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  11. Your recipe looks great, and your blog is beautiful, but the font you've chosen makes it VERY hard to read. I almost clicked away before reading the recipe, and I definitely didn't bother reading anything *but* the recipe. Just a thought from an SEO expert who also dabbles in web design. :)

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