POSTED: 1:30 a.m. HST, Dec 19, 2012
While zucchini is considered a summer squash, it is plentiful in the winter months in Hawaii. Its delicate flavor, green skin and tender texture make it simply delicious throughout the year. Zucchini can be eaten raw or cooked, so it can be part of your holiday table as a salad or warm vegetable.
Choose blemish-free, firm zucchini; the smaller the squash, the more tender and thin-skinned it will be.
For a simple salad, slice it lengthwise very thinly and dress it with olive oil and fresh lemon juice, salt and pepper. Grill thick olive oil-coated slices or sauté thinner slices on the stove top. Or try a zucchini flan, below, for a brunch or serve it as a side dish.
3 tablespoons butter or olive oil
6 zucchini, coarsely grated
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Kernels from 2 ears of fresh corn
1 cup cream
Freshly grated nutmeg
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Butter 8 ramekins or custard cups. Have a baking dish ready that will hold all the ramekins. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.
In large sauté pan over medium-high, heat butter or oil. Add zucchini and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and cool.
When cool, squeeze zucchini by the handful, removing as much liquid as possible. Place in bowl and add remaining ingredients, blending well.
Divide mixture among ramekins and place in baking dish. Fill baking dish with hot water halfway up the sides of ramekins.
Bake 15 to 20 minutes until custard is set. Remove from oven and serve warm or at room temperature.
Hawaii food writer Joan Namkoong offers a weekly tidbit on fresh seasonal products, many of them locally grown.