Monday, March 14, 2016

Bad and Good

The photo on the cover of The Food52 Cookbook is so well-shot, so accessible, so attractive, that it makes me want to eat Zucchini Pancakes (pg 77) immediately.

I made them for dinner last week. First of all, it broke my little adopted Neapolitan heart to pay $3.60 for 3 zucchini. That's $1.20 per zucchini! In Italy, I could get at least 2 kilo of zucchini for that price. At least. And their zucchini would be so fresh that they'd still have the flowers attached. I have produce problems in the US. (Operation: Learn to Garden goes into effect next week).

Much to my dismay, these pancakes were awful. Universally reviled. I hate when recipes instruct you to generously salt a vegetable to draw out the moisture, but then there is no mechanism by which to remove the salt. I have this same problem with eggplant recipes. I much prefer the Neapolitan method of drawing moisture from an eggplant (and it, presumably, would work for a zucchini, too), which is to put it out in the hot Italian sun for an hour. Or, another method they have is to soak it in salt water, and then squeeze all the water out. I can personally attest to the success of the water-soaking method. Anyway, I followed the instructions provided by the cookbook, and produced salt bombs. Apart from the salt, they were flavorless. We barely touched them. Bummer.

Conclusion: Hated it.

For a quick lunch, I made Yogurt and Spinach Dip "Borani Esfanaaj," In the Persian Manner (pg 304.) Delicious. I ate the whole thing. I gave a few bites to Matt, and when I was done with the rest of it, he licked the bowl clean. He actually licked the bowl. That counts as success.
Conclusion: Loved it.