I was inspired by Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle this spring and have started to dabble more and more into preparing foods at home with seasonal produce. My wife was raised in a "from scratch" kitchen, but I've had to work at it. So here are a few of this season's works-in-progress.
Our tomatoes have finally ripened in the last few weeks, along with my mother-in-laws zucchini crop. You have to take advantage of the bounty. We put both on our homemade pizza last week, along with some left-over broiled chicken, and made a pie for the gods. The crust is easy, just throw all of this into your bread maker (in order) and use the "dough" setting (mine takes 1hr 20min).
1.5 cups lukewarm water
1 T salt
1 T oil (olive is nice)
2 T honey
3.25 cups whole wheat flour
1 T dry yeast
1 t each of dried oregano, basil, thyme, and garlic powder
It makes two 14" crusts, so cut the dough in half and work each onto a lightly floured pizza stone. Convect at 400°F for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove from oven and reduce temp to 350°F. Top each pie with 2 T of your favorite sauce, cheese, fresh veg, nuts, leftovers, and whatever else you can find. Return to oven and convect for 7-15 minutes to desired level of tastiness. I like the cheese to bubble a bit. Allow to cool on the stone for 10 minutes before serving.
We still had zucchini piling up on the counter, so this morning I made a mega batch of zucchini bread. I'll get around to modifying this recipe soon, but needed a baseline. It's from Betty Crocker: Bridal Edition, which I've used quite a bit.
3 cups shredded zucchini (2-3 medium)
1.67 cups sugar
0.67 cups veg oil
2 t vanilla
Mix all of that around, then add:
3 cups all-purpose or whole wheat flour
2 t baking soda
1 t salt
1 t ground cinnamon
0.5 t ground cloves
0.5 t baking powder
0.5 cup each nuts and raisins (optional)
I baked one batch in a stone mini-loaf pan (4 mini loaves) for 55 minutes at 350°F. The other batch was split between two regular stone loaf pans. Those needed 5-10 more minutes, but came out a bit more moist. Allow to cool on a rack before slicing.
The stone pans are great. I try whole wheat flour next time and also sub flax seed meal and/or applesauce for the oil and maybe some of the eggs. Those are my standard tricks.
Next week: COOKIES.