We wanted to give Zita a surprise, we’ve planned this baby shower – veg party for weeks. Oh, she will love it! Oh, she will be so surprised! Oh, she will have all the time to read all our posts bursting with love just before delivering the little bundle of joy.
And yes, she made us the sweetest surprise. Tonight she sent us a text. Adam was born at 6.53pm today. He’s beautiful. Can you see my happy goosebumps from there? Yes, I bet you can!
So, Zizi, we beg you pardon if we are a bit late, but today, in this beautiful May Day with blossoms in the trees, warm sunshine and birds chirping, there’s yet another reason to celebrate, your sweet brand new Adam, the newly born nephew of this huge crazy family of blogging friends and aunts!
Zizi is a vegetarian blogger, or better, for me she is THE vegetarian blogger. She is a true inspiration when it comes to create appetizing dishes with vegetables and other things that were almost unknown to me before meeting her. Just to name one: tofu. In my Tuscan oriented mind tofu was just a white and pale slice of something absolutely tasteless before she visited last year and took possession of my stove for one evening.
Add a bit of soy sauce, roast here, sauté there, cube the tofu, add a bunch of healthy broccoli and do not forget to generously add the minced garlic into the pan. In a few minutes she made such a delicious vegetarian dish with tofu and broccoli, and from that moment on, when I feel like having tofu – yes, she made this happen to me! – I just follow the same recipe and add whatever vegetable is in season.
That’s the reason we’re throwing a vegetarian baby shower for her, and that’s the reason I ventured for the first time to try this traditional Tuscan recipe I bookmarked months ago, a sweet zucchini cake known as scarpaccia.
Scarpaccia means literally old shoe and if you look at the pictures you can guess why they decided to give to this cake such an unappealing name: it has the same thickness of an old shoe sole! It is a traditional cake from the coastal town of Viareggio, located in the North Tuscany in Versilia, and it was traditionally baked during the zucchini season by old sailors with the vegetables of their garden.
This zucchini cake is not too sweet, has an unusual green taste for a cake and keeps its moisture thanks to the thinly sliced zucchini that enrich a simple batter made of flour, milk, egg, sugar and olive oil. Do not forget a few leaves of fresh basil to make this cake even more aromatic. The recipe comes from one of my favourite books of Tuscan cooking, Giovanni Righi Parenti’s book La cucina toscana.
- 500 g of thinly sliced zucchini
- 2 eggs
- 500 g all purpose flour
- 1 glass of milk (about 200 ml)
- 250 g raw cane sugar
- 50 g of extra virgin olive oil
- Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
- 5 - 6 basil leaves
- A pinch of salt
- Icing sugar to serve
- Arrange the thinly sliced zucchini on a kitchen towel and season with a pinch of salt. Leave them aside for about one hour, so thy will lose a bit of liquid that could make the cake too wet.
- Heat oven to 170°C.
- Whisk the eggs with the sugar, milk, olive oil, flour and vanilla seeds, then add gently the zucchini and the trimmed basil leaves.
- Grease a 25 x 40 cm baking tin with olive oil and scoop the batter inside.
- Bake for about 45- 50 minutes until golden.
- Let it cool down and serve dusted with icing sugar.
Here’s our veg party for Zita, Ivan and their little newly born Adam. Join us to celebrate Zita’s new baby in this beautiful spring day!
- Regula: Nourishing Stout & Oat Drink
- Beth: Moghrabieh Salad with Preserved Lemon and Coriander Pesto
- Jasmine: Whole Wheat Flour Cocoa Cookies
- Artemis: Kasopita – Cheese Pie from Εpirus
- Sarka: Kiwi Carpaccio with Pecans and Manuka Honey
- Emiko: Ricotta and Dark Chocolate Cake
- Sneige: Pomegranate Curd with Seedy Pine Nut Crust
- Simone: Pistache Raspberry Cakes
- Karin: Fresh Pea Souffle with Goat Cheese