Turkish zucchini kugel

Believe it or not, this was broad daylight.

Believe it or not, this was broad daylight.

I don’t have any vegetable plants — maybe next year, depending on the housing situation — so while I occasionally look on the back stoop and realize that I need to find a recipe that involved large quantities of fresh marjoram/basil/mint/thyme, I don’t have the equivalent panic of having to dispose of ten pounds of zucchinis or tomatoes or peaches or whatever the current bumper crop is. But I can still benefit from the bounty of recipes that always turn up on the food blogs during those times of year — it’s usually when those items are cheap in the market, too.

One of the recipes I found during the recent zucchinifest was this one for a baked version of Turkish zucchini fritters. I have a recipe for Kabak Mücveri in my Turkish cookbook, with the same ingredients but in different proportions, so I decided to try it this way first as I was going to bake it anyway. Also, I’m a big fan of any recipe where the directions are ‘mix all of the ingredients together and bake.’

Most of the key ingredients. I didn’t use all of that zucchini and I needed more mint, which I supplemented with dried (which I insufficiently ground) rather than completely denude my mint plant.

Reading over the recipe, I was thinking it might be a little dry and I might need to add an egg, but it turned out to be anything but. It was, if anything, a little too wet. This was a kugel, not a displaced fritter or frittata. Also, I didn’t add any additional salt and I should have; the feta is salty, but not that salty.

The inside was still very moist while the outside was getting quite brown (the bottom/sides were browned, too). I was worried that I’d ended up in a situation where it was so dense that my choices were to either undercook the inside or burn the outside, but I think I ended up in the happy medium.

What I ended up doing was toasting each slice quite thoroughly in the toaster, trying to get a bit of a brown going on the side. Done like this, it was quite good despite the lack of salt and occasional shard of dried mint. Dad ate at least half, so it couldn’t have been that bad.

That said, I think next time — and there will be a next time — I will see if I can rectify the difference in proportions between this version and my cookbook’s to perhaps make it a little less dense and kugel-like, especially for non-winter preparation. Also, I would like to try simply dolloping out the mixture onto baking sheets, which is what I do with my potato latkes and those turn out quite well.

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One thought on “Turkish zucchini kugel

  1. Dried mint from the Middle East usually comes with the stems, these have to be removed prior to use. The leaves can be easily crushed into a powder with very dry fingers, the stems are then easily removed. Fresh mint has a slightly sweeter taste, but it is weak; recipes usually require far more than the amount indicated. (Ditto basil; where one often requires triple the amount indicated.)

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