Wednesday, October 7, 2015

An ode to zucchini

As zucchini season comes to an end, 
I feel inclined to share some of my favorite recipes that star this versatile vegetable.  Because, after all, one can stomach only so many "zoodle" dishes.

In addition to the supply in our weekly CSA box,
I also grew my own zucchini this year.
It must be an idiot-proof vegetable, since my own harvest was plentiful.

* Probably shoulda picked this monster, like, a week ago.

So, if you have a pile of zucchini still sitting on your counter like me,
try any one of these amazing recipes and you will not be disappointed...

Zucchini Banana Bread
Super moist and flavorful!

Zucchini "Quick"
(Amazing over pasta!)

1 T butter or margarine
1 medium onion, cut in chunks
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 large tomato, peeled and cut in chunks
4 cups thinly sliced zucchini, about 1 lb.
1 can 8 oz tomato sauce
2 t herb seasoning or 1/2 t each oregano leaves, thyme leaves, marjoram leaves, and dry basil
1/2 t salt
grated Parmesan cheese

In a frying pan over medium heat, melt the butter, add onion and saute until limp. Add beef and cook until crumbly; discard fat. Stir in zucchini, tomato, tomato sauce, herb seasoning, salt, and pepper. Simmer, covered stirring often, until zucchini is just tender, about 10 minutes. Uncover, turn heat to high, and stir until excess liquid has evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Pass cheese to sprinkle over top. Makes about 4 servings.

(Typed verbatim from original recipe card from Sunset magazine in the 1970s)

Baked Zucchini Dip
Tastes just like artichoke dip - amazing!  So amazing that a post-baked shot was not captured due to dip being devoured...

2 c. Fresh zucchini, shredded (or any summer squash)

1 tsp salt

1/2 c. Mayonnaise
1/2 c. Plain Greek yogurt (could also substitute sour cream)
1/4 c. Hard granular cheese, grated (I used Parmesan)
1/4 c. Bell peppers, finely chopped 
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp canola oil
Pita chips for dipping

In a bowl, toss the zucchini and salt. Let stand for one hour.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Drain and press out excess liquid really well.

(Recipe ala another CSA member.)

Zucchini Breakfast Cookies
They freeze really well, for a not-too-sweet, grab-and-go breakfast!
P.S.  Definitely grind your oats, as recommended in recipe.

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Recipe courtesy of The Pioneer Woman, a.k.a. you know it's going to be amazing.  Super moist and a perfect blend of spices.  And then there's the cream cheese frosting....hello!  Perfect for those upcoming fall birthdays!

And last but not least,
one of my family's absolute favorites ~

Italian Zucchini Boats

Though I sadly have misplaced this most amazing recipe!

Meanwhile, just drool away (and your guess is as good as mine!)...

There are so many other amazing zucchini recipes out there, but let's just leave at this for today.  And if you're still like me and have zucchini coming out your ears, try freezing it in batches like this...perfect for adding to quick breads and muffins or sauces and smoothies throughout the upcoming winter months!

Bon apetit, m'loves!

~ photos by bits of breezy / zucchini cake image via The Food Network ~

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