Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Zucchini-Lemon Zest Puffs

If you have a veggie garden, this is one more way to exhaust your bountiful zucchini supply.
These little lovelies are perfect as an appetizer (split them, toast them, spread with Dijon mustard and layer with a thin slice of honey-baked ham), as a savory brunch item (split and toasted with butter), or as a tiny biscuit addition to the main course. 

Start with grating a zucchini.  (I used my food processor, and then chopped the shreds into finer bits.  A cheese grater would work fine, if you don't mind the work...)

Squeeze out excess moisture with a paper towel. 

Using a mixer (or by hand), beat together eggs, sour cream, olive oil, and the zest from two lemons...

....until it is this happy color. 

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking powder, and salt.

And incorporate it (in three batches) into the egg/olive oil mixture.

Add in the zucchini and cheese (I used Pecorino Romano; you can substitute Parmesan, Swiss, Comte, Gruyere, etc.)  Mix well.

Scoop out about a tablespoon of dough, roll it into a little ball, and place it on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
Sprinkle chopped pistachios on top, if desired.

Bake 10-12 minutes at 375 degrees, until puffs just begin to get a golden tinge and a toothpick inserted in the center (of one) comes out clean.

(And they freeze beautifully.)

Here's the printable version of the recipe.

Zucchini-Lemon Zest Puffs
Makes 20-24 tablespoon-sized puffs

1 medium zucchini, grated and finely chopped (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup sour cream
Grated zest of 2 lemons
2/3 cup olive oil
2 large eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese*
1/4 cup pistachios, finely chopped

Use two layers of sturdy paper towels to blot the excess moisture out of the grated zucchini.  (A clean tea towel works best if you don't mind getting it a little green.)  Set zucchini aside.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer (or in a regular mixing bowl if you're mixing by hand), beat together the sour cream, zest, olive oil, and the eggs until the consistency of the mixture is smooth and light yellow in color. 

In a separate medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, white pepper, and salt until very well mixed. 

With mixer on low speed (or by hand), stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture in three batches, mixing as little as possible to get it just incorporated.  (If you overmix, the puffs will become pucks.)  Be sure to use a spatula and scrape up from the bottom of the bowl to ensure all of the flour mixture is reached and incorporated.

Add in the zucchini and the cheese and stir until just incorporated. 

Scoop out about a tablespoon** of the dough, roll it between your palms, and place dough balls on the prepared baking sheet.  (You can lightly flour your hands if the dough is really sticky.)  Place puffs about 2 inches apart.  Sprinkle puffs with a dusting of the chopped pistachios, if desired.  

Bake for 10-12 minutes until edges are just beginning to turn a golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the largest puff comes out clean. 

*Substitute Parmesan, Swiss, Comte, Gruyere, or even white cheddar cheese.  

**Use a teaspoon for pop-in-your mouth sized puffs. 

Recipe adapted from here (scroll to bottom of page).


Trish said...

Looks so scrumptious! This will surely make me cut my diet! haha thanks :)

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