First, some exciting news:
Check out my article in this week’s Ami/Whisk magazine for two twists on hamantashen! If you’ve seen it, please let me know what you think!
Last week I discussed how a certain food has come to be associated with a memory. Little did I imagine that just a couple of days later, I would accidentally stumble on to another food with deep memories attached.
It started when I saw zucchini on sale at my local grocery store. I wasn’t sure what to do with them, but I bought a big bag and decided that I would figure it out. I started to cut them into wedges, probably out of laziness, then tossed them with some spices and threw them in the oven.
Forty minutes later I tasted one fresh out of the oven, and was immediately transported back to Israel.
Suddenly, I was sitting around the table in the hotel in Tiberias. I was in Israel chaperoning a group of disabled young women on the trip of their lifetimes. The girls sat around the table laughing and talking. Friendly as anything, they were quickly making friends with the other guests at the hotel. One by one, I took the girls up the front of the room where they had a buffet table set up. These young women weren’t accustomed to the “luxury” of hotels and buffet dinners, so this was extra exciting for them. After all of my girls had gotten their food, I went back up to get some food for myself. I had plans to go out to eat with another staff member that night, so I decided to have a snack.
I saw some zucchini wedges on a tray, so I put some on a plate and headed back to the table. I took a couple of bites, and was instantly hooked. They were gloriously spicy, flavored with the middle eastern spices I love so much. They were soft, but just a tiny bit crispy. They were delicious. I finished my plate and went back for more.
The trip went on for another week, and it was amazing, but also exhausting. It was filled with many extraordinary moments and plenty of delicious food. Needless to say, a plate of zucchini sticks wasn’t exactly the memory I clung to most when I came home. In short, I forgot completely about the delicious little zucchini sticks in that hotel in Israel.
Until I tasted these. Without even meaning to, I had recreated one of the most delicious foods I tasted on that trip.
Spicy Baked Zucchini Sticks
5 small zucchini
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
pinch cayenne pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking (cookie) sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.
Cut the zucchini in half down the center, then again into 4-6 wedges to create sticks.
Toss the zucchini wedges with the oil and spices until evenly coated. Place on a single layer on the prepared baking sheet.
Bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes, stirring every 10-15 minutes.
Thanks for stopping by, folks! Stay tuned for some more hamantashen- traditional ones this time!