Today, we had the first harvest of heirloom Italian zucchini — picked for farm delivery to Olga Cafe & Bistro, Coudersport, Pennsylvania. It features a distinctive nutty flavor, clearly better texture, and is delicious, raw or cooked. And, we have no doubts much better tasting than the hybrids commonly sold in the food stores. Once again, long-held customs prevail here giving phenomenal taste much as vegetables did “in the old days.”
Farmer Tip: Give regular patronage to restaurants that buy produce from local farms. It really helps small farms when establishments serve local produce. We realize that buying directly from farms versus through a through large food outlets requires more work to coordinate deliveries and interact with several small farms. But, the food is so much better because it is fresher and healthier (without having to travel long distances or added shelve-life extending chemicals). Your customer support will give these “farm-to-table” eateries assurance that the people understand the importance of it. Discover the value in eating locally and tell your friends.
And, we hope that it finds its way to your kitchen. Buy local as much as you can. You’ll be glad that you did. Start enjoying it today! To help inspire here is the Chef At The Market recipe from Chef Butch and Chef Colin:
Zucchini Mock Crab Cakes
Original Recipe – Mock Crab Cakes
- 2 cups zucchini, peeled and grated
- 1 cup seasoned Italian bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon OLD Bay seasoning (Do not substitute)
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
Mix together, form into patties
Form into very small balls and deep fry or form into small patties and pan fry in butter & oil until golden brown.
Serve as an appetizer or with sides as a main course.
Chef’s Preferred Recipe – Mock Crab Cakes
- 2 – 2 ½ cups coarsely grated peeled squash (If using large sized squash seed also – optional with smaller tender squash).The squash must be have the excess moisture removed by either pressing firmly in a sturdy colander, or, spreading the gratings on a dish towel and wringing.
- 2 tablespoon OLD BAY SEASONING (Do not substitute)
- 1-1/2 cups crushed oyster crackers ( divided)
- 1/2 – 1 cup bread crumbs-(divided)
(Amount will vary due to moisture content of the vegetables),
If using seasoned bread crumbs, less will usually be needed, start with 1/4 cup.
- 1 tablespoon minced scallion-green part
- 1 tablespoon minced shallot
- 1 clove garlic minced
- 2 tablespoon finely diced seeded jalapeno (optional)
- ½ cup each finely diced red and green sweet peppers
- 1 tablespoon finely minced parsley
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoon real mayonnaise
- 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco – about 6-8 drops or to taste. (optional)
- 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Mix gently the squash and the Old Bay to distribute the seasoning throughout the squash, then add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix gently but thoroughly the rest of the dry ingredients and ½ of the oyster crackers or bread crumbs.
Mix lightly buttermilk, egg, and mayonnaise to blend, add tabasco and Worcestershire and add to dry mixture and gently combine with additions of remaining crumbs to result in a easily formed patty cake about ½ inch in thickness- not too wet or dry – as each cake is formed coat nicely with crumbs or *(preferred Panko bread crumbs)*
Fry in medium hot mixture of oil and butter ¼ to ½ inch deep, until nicely golden browned, drain on paper towels to remove excess oil and serve.