June 30, 2020
Welcome to Week 4.
As summer progresses, we are beginning to get a greater variety of vegetables. This week begins the harvest of summer squash. Zucchini, pattypan, yellow squash – all pretty and delicious.
A noted food writer once said, “Zucchini is the vegetable about which the best thing you can say is that any fool can grow one”. While they are admittedly easy to grow, the farmers who grow them are not foolish at all. This is a delicious, nutritious vegetable, and very versatile to boot.
Today’s recipe uses zucchini to make a wonderful savory bread pudding with a Mediterranean slant.
ZUCCHINI BREAD PUDDING
- 4 oz crustless stale whole-wheat bread or baguette
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 ½ cups low-fat milk (1 percent or 2 percent)
- 1 ½ lbs zucchini, grated
- 2 TBS extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, chopped
- 1 TBS chopped fresh dill
- 1 TBS chopped fresh parsley, preferably Italian parsley
- 4 eggs
- 2 oz feta, crumbled (1/2 cup)
- 1 oz Parmesan, grated (1/4 cup)
- If the bread is not stale, cut it into 3/4 inch slices and then toast them. Cut 1 of the garlic cloves in half and rub each slice of bread with the cut side of the garlic. Cut the bread into 1-inch dice, place in a bowl and gently mix with 1 cup of the milk. Refrigerate for 1 hour, mixing occasionally. Mince the remaining garlic and set aside.
- While the bread is soaking, put the grated squash in a colander and sprinkle generously with salt. Toss it well and let it sit in the colander in the sink for 15 minutes, then squeeze out the water.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rub a 2-quart baking dish or a 10-inch tart pan with vegetable oil. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet and add the onion. Cook, stirring, for about 3 minutes, until it begins to soften. Add a generous pinch of salt, the garlic, and the grated squash. Stir until the garlic is fragrant and the squash is limp, about 2 minutes. Stir in the chopped dill and parsley, and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Remove the bowl with the soaked bread from the refrigerator. Using your hands, mash and squeeze the soaked bread so the mixture turns to mush. Add the squash mixture and the feta to the bowl and stir together. Scrape the mixture into the oiled baking dish and top with the grated Parmesan.
- Break the eggs into a bowl and beat with the remaining milk. Add about 1/2 tsp of salt, and freshly ground pepper. Pour this over the bread mixture and place the dish in the oven. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until the mixture is puffed and golden brown on the top and the eggs are set. Allow it to cool for 10 minutes or longer before serving.
HELPFUL HINT: This recipe may be prepared through Step 4 a few hours before you assemble and bake this dish. The baked pudding will keep for 3 or 4 days in the refrigerator. Reheat in a 350 degree oven.