Zucchini Skin Sauce

Thinly shaved zucchini skin makes a great sauce

The greenmarket still has zucchini but unfortunately the farmer there tells me it’s probably the last week.

When cooking with animals, it’s important to use the whole beast and not waste a single part. The same respect has to be said for vegetables. I’m guilty of throwing out the vegetable peelings, as well as the green tops from a various bunches of carrots or beets. It always bothers me that you can’t buy bunches of cilantro at a regular supermarket in NY with the roots still on (unless you got to Chinatown). Where did the roots go? The roots are the best part!
Inspired by a green based color-themed food story that I art directed at Martha Stewart Living this past week, together with a recipe for an Emerald green sauce I love from Perla Meyers “The peasant kitchen” (see my previous post on her book) Here are 2 recipes that use the “whole” zucchini.
Cauliflower with bright green zucchini skin sauce. 
1) FALL ROASTED CAULIFLOWER WITH ZUCCHINI SKIN SAUCE: In a food processor, put half a cup of extra virgin olive oil, 1 and a half tablespoons of red wine vinegar, a small tight fistful of finely chopped italian parsley, 2 tablespoons of minced scallions (but only the green part), 2 whole garlic smashed, add the shavings of 2 whole medium zucchini‘s, a quarter wedge of finely diced medium green bell pepper, 4 whole flat anchovy filets, 3 cornichons and 1 tablespoon of small well-drained capersSalt and pepper. Blend. Sauce should be smooth and a luminous green color.

Cut a whole cauliflower into pieces. Blanch the pieces quickly in big pot of boiling salted water for 4 minutes. Place the blanched pieces on a baking sheet, rub a tiny bit of oil into them and put them in the oven at 400 degrees until they start to brown and cook through. Check them frequently so don’t burn. Take out pieces and slather in green zucchini skin sauce.

The cauliflower with the sauce is great served with simple grilled fish, flash-fried tofu or chicken. Another side of roasted sweet butternut squash with a splash of maple syrup or crunchy pumpkin seeds on top would round out the meal nicely.

Perl’s recipe calls for the cauliflower to be steamed and then the sauce added immediately, which you can do, especially if you’re pressed for time. I like the browned and nutty flavors though that develop from roasting the cauliflower. It gives a depth of flavor that mixes well with the pungent green sauce.
Use up the leftover skinned zucchini with the leftover scallion whites for this recipe for Zucchini and cheddar fritters. 

2) ZUCCHINI AND CHEDDAR “FRITTERS” : Grate the 2 already skinned whole zucchini’s very finely. Put in a bowl. Squeeze out excess water by pressing the zucchini between paper towels or tea towels. Add one egg lightly beaten, a good pinch of salt and pepper and a half a cup of local grated cheddar. Mix together. Fry generous spoonfuls in a non- stick pan in vegetable oil, until browned.

Serve the fritters with fresh tomato sauce for dipping.

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