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A zucchini torte is a type of baked dish which combines zucchini and seasonings with eggs and flour to create a cake-like result. In general, tortes are sweet cakes which are made with little or no flour and usually garnished and topped with a glaze. Since a zucchini torte is not a sweet dessert, it may more closely resemble a quiche than traditional dessert torte, but lacks the cream or milk and the pastry crust typical of a quiche. Instead, like many dessert tortes, zucchini tortes rely heavily on eggs to bind the ingredients.
As the name indicates, a zucchini torte always includes zucchini. Three to fives eggs are key elements of this dish, and onions, as well as small amounts of flour and baking soda, are also included. A store-bought pancake mix or self-rising flour may be used instead of the baking soda and flour combination. Any kind of cheese, usually a sharp variety, can be include in the dish as well. Spicier versions will add jalapeño peppers and cayenne pepper, whereas other versions may add dill, garlic, basil, and oregano.
To prepare zucchini torte, the eggs are beaten, then mixed with the seasonings, flour, and baking soda. The zucchini is usually thinly sliced and fried in oil or butter. Onions, and garlic or jalapeños if used, are also sliced and fried after the zucchini is removed from the pan. Then, all the fried ingredients are stirred into the egg mixture.
Some versions may forgo frying the vegetables and instead just mix all the ingredients together at once. Versions which forgo frying may chose to grate the zucchini rather than slice it. Others mix the vegetables, seasonings, and cheese with oil and allow the mixture to marinate for several hours. After marinating, the eggs and flour mixture is included.
Once everything is thoroughly mixed, the torte is poured into a greased round baking dish, usually a cake pan. Zucchini tortes usually bake for about half an hour. They do rise during the baking processes and, once complete, should be about the thickness of a single layer cake. Once cooled, these tortes are sliced into wedges and are normally served at room temperature.
Although zucchini tortes are not topped with a sweet glaze like most dessert tortes, they are often garnished. Sliced jalapeños are often used for this purpose. Zucchini tortes are usually served as a side dish rather than a main course.
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