A couple of years ago I found a zucchini dog on my front porch one morning. There was a note attached that read, “Happy Leave a Zucchini on your Neighbor’s Porch Day! After a little research on the internet, I found out that lots of folks were taking part in this unusual holiday. I mentioned this mystery zucchini to Mr. Matt, our Chef/Gardener, and I think it might possibly be his new favorite holiday. Mr. Matt has really embraced the holiday as you will see in his story below. – Justin
This past Spring I picked up vegetable starts for my garden, which included zucchini plants. Since they were so small, I got 6 of them. Nurtured by the spring rains and sunshine, they grew into healthy plants. I was thrilled to stuff the new blossoms with goat cheese or batter them simply in tempura and fry them.
The first new baby zucchini were great on the grill and in breakfast omelets. All of my non-gardening friends and neighbors were glad to share in the bounty. Muffins and breads made their way on my menu almost daily. But now things have changed. Even though I have collected 59 ways to cook zucchini, I am growing tired of them. My neighbors, who once greeted me warmly when I approached them with a basket of fresh produce from my garden, now draw their window blinds and walk on the other side of the street.
It’s now time for desperate measures. August 8th is National Sneak Some Zucchini on Your Neighbor’s Porch Day. You know your favorite neighbor would just love that zucchini that you somehow missed in your garden and has now grown large enough to feed a family of twelve. So wait until after dark to deliver the goods and perhaps a nice bottle of Kendall-Jackson Chardonnay would taste great with that zucchini as well.
Mini Zucchini Cupcakes with Lemon Glaze
Makes 18 mini cupcakes
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 Tbsp. almond flour (almond meal)
- ½ tsp. baking powder
- Pinch of kosher salt
- 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- ½ tsp. vanilla extract
- ½ tsp. lemon zest, grated
- 6 Tbsp. buttermilk
- ¾ cup yellow or green zucchini, shredded
- ¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 to 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. lemon zest, cut into fine slivers (for garnish)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter and flour 18 mini-muffin cups. Tap the pan to knock out the excess flour.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, almond flour, baking powder and salt. Whisk to blend.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter and granulated sugar using an electric mixer on medium-low speed. Add the egg, vanilla and lemon zest and beat until combined. Add half of the flour mixture, then half of the buttermilk, adding each after the last is completely incorporated. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture and buttermilk.
- Place the shredded zucchini in a tea towel, roll up the towel and squeeze firmly to wring out the excess moisture. Stir the zucchini into the batter. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin cups, leaving ¼ -inch of space at the top of each cup. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cupcake comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and place onto a wire rack set over a sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Let cool completely.
- In a small bowl, stir together the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice. Spoon the glaze over the cupcakes and garnish with lemon zest slivers. Let stand until set, 1 to 2 hours.