'Tis the season when gardens are burgeoning with zucchini. Harvesters are finding themselves wondering what to do with their prolific crop and are often sharing them with anyone willing to take them.
In addition to giving them away, I have in the past processed them for freezing. A year later I reluctantly threw every single bag away. I hadn't been to excited about finding uses for frozen zucchini at the time (outside of adding it to pasta or a bread or muffin recipe) and eventually forgot all about them.
I'm excited about my zucchini crop this year too because last year my zucchini plants produced pumpkins which just doesn't taste the same (or produce as abundantly!) I'm determined to make as much use of the harvest as I can and have been scouring the internet for zucchini recipes.
A little sweet:
I'm terribly excited about this one! These are the best homemade pancakes I have ever eaten. Plus the whole wheat and zucchini makes me feel really good about serving it! Veggies in pancakes, woulda' thunk? I found the original recipe HERE.
1 c. whole wheat flour (I split the amount between white and wheat.)
3/4 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt
1 1/2 T. sugar
3/4 c. milk
1-2 T. butter, melted
1/4 t. vanilla
1 c. zucchini, shredded
Combine dry ingredients in one bowl and the wet ones in another. Add the wet to the dry and mix until just combined. Stir in zucchini. Cook over medium until edges are dry and centers are bubbling. Flip and cook until done.
These babies are good enough to eat all by themselves (like while you're standing in the kitchen for 20 minutes cooking everyone else's!) or serve them up with butter and syrup. If you really like syrup add a little extra to these. It's ok, remember there are vegetables AND whole wheat in there!
This is my aunt's recipe and what I ate the first time I tasted zucchini. Not a bad introduction, huh?
2 c. zucchini, shredded
1 c. sugar
1 c. brown sugar
1 c. oil
2 t. vanilla
2 1/2 c. flour
2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. baking powder
3 t. cinnamon
1 c. nuts, chopped
Mix zucchini, eggs, sugars, oil, and vanilla in blender. Combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Mix in the blended ingredients. Pour into greased loaf pans. Bake at 325 for an hour.
I'll be trying:
Zucchini Pie- I know sounds strange, but hey, it's pie so it's worth a try!
A little savory...
Garden Patch Saute
an old favorite of ours adapted from the Betty Crocker Cookbook.
1 T. oil
1 medium zucchini, chopped or sliced (about a cup)
1 medium yellow summer squash, chopped or sliced (about a cup)
1 c. mushrooms, sliced (I just use a small can)
1 c. grape or cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 t. garlic salt
1 t. oregano
1 t. basil
Heat oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Cook the zucchini, squash and mushrooms 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently until vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir in the tomatoes, sprinkle with seasoning. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently, just until tomatoes begin to soften.
Alternately, I will make a meal out of this by using half a can of diced tomatoes including some of the juice and tossing with pasta cooked in salted water. You could also toss the pasta with a stick of butter and 1/3 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese before stirring in the vegetables. An incredibly tasty but unadvisable step if you're counting calories.
Grilled Veggie Pizza
1 medium zucchini, quartered lengthwise
1 summer squash, quartered lengthwise
1 red pepper, quartered lengthwise
salt and pepper
1 tomato, chopped
4 flour tortillas
1 c. mozzarella, or provolone, or a mix, shredded
Brush the cut zucchini, squash, and pepper with oil. Season with salt and pepper. Grill vegetables until tender, yet crisp. Cut into bite sized pieces. Evenly spread grilled vegetables and tomatoes over tortillas. Sprinkle with basil and oregano to taste. Top with cheese. Grill, covered over indirect heat until cheese is melted and tortillas are crisp.
Fried Zucchini Strings- Have you been to Tasty Kitchen yet? It's a new recipe collection site (kind of like allrecipes) hosted by Pioneer Woman and my bookmarks folder is bursting with all kinds of delicious recipes that I'm looking forward to trying, including this one!
Zucchini, Carrot, and Black Bean Quesadillas- I love this for a quick, delicious, and healthy lunch and was glad to have found it through Tuesday's food link-ups! I put the raw veggies on the tortillas, load with cheese, and bake similarly to my Chicken Quesadillas.
I'll be trying:
I don't want to get in a rut though! I'm always looking for new recipes. In what ways are you preparing zucchini for your family this summer? If you happen to have a great recipe or even a tasty zucchini link up your sleeve, do share!