Zucchini Benedict

Zucchini Benedict

Last week, finding ourselves a bit short of suitable summer camp arrangements (dang, summer vacation is LOOOONG!), J. and I packed the boys off for an official week-long visit at Camp Grammagrampa – otherwise known as my parents’ house.  They’d be three hours away from us, swimming in the big inground pool, playing with the new puppy, and getting basically spoiled rotten…and we’d be able to do that most glamorous of grown-up activities, dragging our rear ends out of bed to get to the office each morning.

With our little guys away from home but certainly safe and happy, we made two promises to each other:

1)      We would eat out, by golly.  Twice.  (This is a huge deal.  We’re not get-a-sitter people, in general, so being able to hear one another speak a full sentence over a plate of food, and then not have to clean the kitchen, is downright novel.)

2)      We would eat vegetarian for the week, at least at home, and veg-heavy at whatever restaurants we chose.

Why vegetarian?  Mainly because the kids were gone.  No, really – J. and I both like veg-heavy eating and we’d like to be firmly flexitarian most of the time, but with young boys who eat like wolverines in the house, and one (L.) who doesn’t appear to feel as well or function as well without a rather generous amount of animal protein in his diet, meat’s on the menu more often than not.  We saw an opportunity to spend a week easing off, so to speak.  Also, meat is obviously one of the more expensive items on our grocery bill – and if we wanted to bankroll some swanky date nights, we needed to save some cash.

At this time of year, vegetarian cooking is easy.  Heck, you hardly even have to COOK if you don’t want to – and I didn’t do much of it, trust me; caprese salad was pretty much my staple allllllll week long.  But I did spend a couple of evenings getting creative with what we’d picked up at the farmer’s market, and I’m happy to pronounce those experiments an unqualified success.  Tonight I present to you the more decadent of the two, a vegetarian dish I’m almost ashamed to CALL vegetarian because of its richness.

This Zucchini Cake Benedict is a marriage of two of my favorite things: Summer produce and brunch.  It earned rave reviews from J. when I served it for dinner, but obviously you could make this any old time of day that you want something happy-making to eat.  The sweet corn in it adds texture to the moist zucchini cakes, while the griddled tomato slices give an acid punch and the pure taste of summer.  Topped off with my favorite, unbelievably easy lemony hollandaise sauce, this is vegetarian food that’s so right, you won’t care how completely wrong it is.