Zucchini Baskets

Η συνταγή και στα ελληνικά στο τέλος της ανάρτησης!

Olive tree is known from ancient years and it comes from western Mediterranean. According to myth the first place where it was planted was Athens during Athena’s fight with Poseidon. Greeks were the first people who cultivated the olive tree and according to contemporary historians neither Italians, nor Spanish and Tunisians knew its existence and cultivation.

Olive tree is evergreen with small leaves like spears. Its fruits are ready to be picked late fall beginning of winter. The trees that are meant to give olive oil are different from those that give the well-known to all of us olives. Mid fall to early winter people start picking the olives and it is a very demanding and tiring procedure. Underneath the trees the laborers lay synthetic fabrics like nets and olives fall with the help of special tools on them. The olives are cleaned from any branches and they are placed in special containers to transport them to the oil press to extract the olive oil.

Zucchini Baskets

In the oil press the olives go through an industrial decanter. First are weighed and then they are cleaned from any foreign particles. Continuing, the olives go to the crusher where they are crushed and a paste is created. This paste is mollified for about 20 to 30 minutes in order to allow the small olive drops to agglomerate. In this stage, the temperature must not exceed 26 to 27 C. After that the paste goes to the industrial decanter where the olive oil will be separated from the pulp.

“The decanter is a large capacity horizontal centrifuge rotating approximately 3,000 rpm, the high centrifugal force created allows the phases to be readily separated according to their different densities (solids > vegetation water > oil). Inside the decanter’s rotating conical drum there is a coil that rotates more slowly, pushing the solid materials out of the system.” (Source: Wikipedia)

Leaving the decanter, the olive oil continues its journey to the centrifugal separator where the olive oil is cleaned from any residues, water etc. and it is ready to be consumed.

Zucchini Baskets

Now I am going to share a secret with you that all people who consume olive oil should know, but the majority doesn’t. I am sure many of you at some point have tried an olive oil that once you swallowed it, it burnt your throat and I am pretty sure that you have rejected this olive oil as too strong. Well, actually this is totally wrong. Polyphenols which are found in olives and accordingly to olive oil are natural chemical substances that have antioxidant properties and help in the prevention of various diseases associated with oxidative stress, cancer and cardiovascular and neurodegenerative diseases. The more polyphenols an olive oil has the more it burns your throat when you swallow it. So don’t be in a rush to reject this type of olive oil, as it is better than the one that has a mild taste.

Now, I was watching TV5Europe and I saw a French chef making these little zucchini baskets. I dusted my French and managed to understand the recipe, which was very easy actually. I decided to make it with a few changes I thought necessary and they were so delicious even my son, who is not so enthusiastic about zucchini, ate them and liked them very much.

Zucchini Baskets

 

 

5.0 from 5 reviews
Zucchini Baskets with Greek Olives
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Appetizer
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Mediterranean
Serves: 2
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 2 round zucchinis
  • 5 Kalamata olives
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
  • ½ tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp dried basil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 100 to 120 gr. / 3.5 to 4 oz. graviera cheese or gruyere, grated
  • Olive oil
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Cut the zucchinis in half.
  2. Cut their stems on both sides and with a spoon empty their flesh leaving half inch from the skin.
  3. Place them clean part downwards to a steamer and steam for about 10 to 12 minutes.
  4. Remove from steamer and put them immediately in very cold water to stop them from continuing to boil.
  5. Cut their flesh in small cubes and also cut the olives in pieces.
  6. In a skillet pour couple of tbsp. of olive oil and add the garlic.
  7. Sauté for a minute and then add the zucchini flesh, the olives and all the herbs, sugar, salt and pepper.
  8. Sauté for about 5 minutes in medium / high heat.
  9. Remove and add the 80 gr. of graviera cheese or gruyere and mix to incorporate.
  10. Take the zucchini baskets and add 1 tsp of olive oil in each one of them.
  11. Stuff them with the mixture and cover them with graviera or gruyere.
  12. Preheat oven to 175°C / 340°F.
  13. Bake them for 15 minutes and then turn on the broiler and broil for couple of minutes or until they take a nice golden color on top.
  14. Serve warm.

 
5.0 from 5 reviews
Καλαθάκια Κολοκυθιού με Ελιές
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Ορεκτικό
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Μεσογειακή
Serves: 2
Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 2 στρογγυλά κολοκυθάκια
  • 5 ελιές
  • 2 σκελίδες σκόρδο, λιωμένες
  • 1 κ.σ. φρέσκο βασιλικό, ψιλοκομμένο
  • ½ κ.γ. ρίγανη
  • ½ κ.γ. ξερό βασιλικό
  • Αλάτι και πιπέρι
  • 1 κ.γ. ζάχαρη
  • 100 γρ. τυρί γραβιέρα, τριμμένη
  • Ελαιόλαδο
Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Κόβετε τα κολοκυθάκια στη μέση.
  2. Κόψτε τους μίσχους από τις δύο πλευρές και με ένα κουτάλι αφαιρέστε τη σάρκα τους αφήνοντας ένα εκατοστό από τη φλούδα.
  3. Τοποθετήστε τα με το σκαμμένο μέρος προς τα κάτω σε έναν ατμομάγειρα για περίπου 10 με 12 λεπτά.
  4. Βγάλτε από τον ατμομάγειρα και βάλτε τα αμέσως σε πολύ κρύο νερό για να σταματήσουν να βράζουν.
  5. Κόψτε τη σάρκα τους σε μικρούς κύβους και κόψτε και τις ελιές σε κομματάκια.
  6. Σε ένα τηγάνι ρίξτε δύο κουταλιές ελαιόλαδο και προσθέστε το σκόρδο.
  7. Σοτάρετε για ένα λεπτό και στη συνέχεια προσθέστε τη σάρκα των κολοκυθιών, τις ελιές και τα μυρωδικά, ζάχαρη, αλάτι και πιπέρι.
  8. Σοτάρετε για περίπου 5 λεπτά σε μέτρια / υψηλή θερμοκρασία.
  9. Βγάλτε από τη φωτιά και προσθέστε τα 80 γρ. γραβιέρα και ανακατέψτε να ενσωματωθούν.
  10. Πάρτε τα κολοκυθάκια και προσθέστε 1 κουταλάκι του γλυκού ελαιόλαδο σε κάθε ένα από αυτά.
  11. Γεμίστε με το μείγμα και σκεπάστε με την υπόλοιπη γραβιέρα.
  12. Προθερμάνετε το φούρνο στους 175° C.
  13. Ψήστε για 15 λεπτά και στη συνέχεια ανάψτε το γκριλ και ψήστε για δύο λεπτά ή μέχρι να πάρουν ένα ωραίο χρυσό χρώμα στην κορυφή.
  14. Σερβίρονται ζεστά.

 

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