(A sequential installment from Kim Hastings, my photographer friend and, along with her vet husband, owner of Independence Veterinary Hospital, who decided on her own to cook her way through The Blooming Platter Cookbook: A Harvest of Seasonal Vegan Recipes Julie & Julia Style for her omnivorous family as a strategy for more healthy eating.)
It’s leftover night at our house which is the night we clear out the fridge and put it all out on the counter as a self service buffet. There was a serious lack of anything green so I quickly decided to do a recipe that caught my eye a few days ago: Panko Topped Cheesy Zucchini. I read through the recipe while hiding out in the living room so I could impress my family by whipping up something new and tasty in less than 10 minutes and without them knowing it was from the vegan cookbook.
I grated up the zucchini on a box grater and started sautéing it. My husband was grazing at the counter and watching the preparation so now I can’t refer back to the book. Just great! I remember it said something about the zucchini releasing moisture. What the heck does that mean? So we watched expectantly and suddenly there it happened! Liquid started forming. Since he was standing there, I had described the process I now vaguely remember. Next I know it said something about evaporation. This is turning into a science project. So we watched until we decided the liquid had disappeared sufficiently. That’s when I threw in a handful of real Parmesan cheese – yes I cheated…again. Sorry.
Earlier I had dumped some Panko into another small pan and started toasting it. Unfortunately I burnt them a little when I ran to sneak a look at the cookbook about how much cheese. But no matter, I put the zucchini on a serving plate and topped it with the Panko. Done!! So easy!!
We each took a bite and literally couldn’t stop. We ended up eating almost all of it while standing at the counter. We only stopped out of guilt for not leaving any for our son (who loved it too).
This recipe is definitely going to be repeated over and over in our home. Oh and as part of my dedication to this challenge, I will be trying the “cheese” that is supposed to be used in this dish – I promise!
~~Kim Howard Hastings