From Nell Frazer Lindquist, our Inventory Manager
Costata Romanesco zucchini – I’m celebrating my 10-year anniversary with this zucchini, and the love I feel for it has never wavered. Casey O’Leary introduced me to it in 2013, during my Earthly Delights Farm internship. It’s a beautiful grey-green, slightly mottled, ribbed looker of a squash. But its beauty is more than skin deep. Costata Romanesco is incredibly flavourful! If you’ve always thought that zucchini was a sort of bland, watery, meh kind of vegetable then this is the one for you! Raw, it has a slightly nutty flavour. Cooked, it’s a luscious addition to any of your zucchini recipes. Is the weather getting cooler and you find yourself still with a garage full of zucchini? Slice or shred Costata Romanesco and put it in your dehydrator. Then enjoy the nutty, crunchy goodness on top of soups and salads throughout the winter.
Another reason to love this zucchini: even when it grows to a monstrous size because you lost track of one of the fruits in the mid-summer jungle of your garden, it doesn’t turn woody and inedible. Sure, it won’t be quite as silky smooth as a younger fruit, but it’s still great eating! Of course, unless you are. saving seed from it, you don’t want to let it grow as big as a Corgi, which is an official unit of measure we use here at Snake River Seed Cooperative!
Pictured here is my dear boy, Ianto, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi, with two Costata Romanesco that I grew (from Snake River Seed, of course!) and harvested seed from.
Here’s a favourite zucchini recipe.
(A Martha Stewart recipe, originally called Zucchini-Parmesan Loaf, but prefer to use Pecorino Romano cheese. I also think that a generous amount of black pepper nicely complements the cheese and zucchini, so I’ve upped the originally called for ¼ teaspoon to ½ teaspoon)
⅓ cup olive oil, plus more for pan
2 cups all-purpose flour (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan
⅓ cup milk (buttermilk is awesome!)
2 large eggs
1 cup grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese (about 4 ounces)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 ½ teaspoon coarse sea salt
½ teaspoon ground pepper
½ pound (about 1 medium) zucchini, coarsely grated
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Brush a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan (6-cup capacity) with oil; dust with flour, and tap out excess.
In a small bowl, whisk oil, milk, and eggs. In a large bowl, whisk flour, Parmesan, baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and at least 1/2 teaspoon pepper; mix in zucchini, then egg mixture until just moistened (batter will be very thick, like biscuit dough).
Transfer batter to prepared pan; press in gently. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 60 to 70 minutes (tent with foil if loaf starts to brown too quickly). Cool 15 minutes in pan; turn out loaf onto a rack to cool completely.
[Note: I haven’t tried it, but I imagine this could be made vegan by substituting a good quality vegan cheese, non-dairy milk, and flax eggs (1 tablespoon flax meal plus 3 tablespoons water per egg) or aquafaba. Nor have I tried to make it gluten-free, but I’ve had good luck using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour in other recipes.]