My friend just delivered a basket of zucchini. Now normally this is a kind gesture. She has a great garden and often shares her produce with us. And I don’t want to seem ungrateful. But, this is the third basket I have received from her this week. Oh, she tries to camouflage it by adding a couple of onions and a great recipe to the basket. But, it is basically
I now have a fridge full of them. I keep meaning to do something with them but the closest I’ve come is putting ten bags of last week’s chopped up zucchini in the freezer for “later”—whenever that is.
Before they start spilling from my fridge and suffocating us in our sleep, I have to do something to solve:
The Case of the Multiplying Zucchinis
If you, too, are the recipient of hundreds of these little green gourds, you may be pleased to receive my temporary solution. Below are some great ways to use those multiplying zucchinis that keep arriving on your doorstep.
There are hundreds of ways to serve zucchini. Perhaps that is because one zucchini plant produces a bumper crop!
Try these healthy recipes!
Breakfast bread or Coffee Break Zucchini Recipes
Zucchini and Olive Breakfast Cake, French-Style
Makes 9×5 inch 1 loaf
1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan and drizzling
1/2 pound zucchini,
1 teaspoon salt
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
3 large eggs
1/3 cup milk
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
Heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan with olive oil. Coarsely grate the zucchini on the coarsest side of a box grater or with a food processor. Place the zucchini in a colander in the sink. Let drain while preparing the rest of the recipe.
In a large bowl, whisk the minced garlic with the flour, baking powder, salt and pepper. In a separate, medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, then whisk in the milk and olive oil. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry until barely mixed. Fold in the crumbled goat cheese and the sliced olives.
Press firmly on the zucchini in the colander, pressing out as much water as possible. Quickly fold the zucchini into the batter.
Spread the batter in the prepared loaf pan, and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle the top with kosher salt. Bake loaf for about 45 minutes, or until golden and a knife inserted in center comes out with a few crumbs attached. Remove from oven and cool in pan for 5 minutes. Run a knife around edge to release. Turn onto rack for about 30 minutes. Using a serrated knife, cut into 3/8-inch slices, then quarter each slice.
Healthy Zucchini Muffins
1 1/2 c. sugar (if I use sweetened applesauce and/or dried fruit I cut the sugar back a little)
1 c. flour whole wheat
1 c. regular flour
1 c. bran
½ tsp. baking powder
1 T. cinnamon (Be generous with this. Cinnamon is good for you!)
½ c. chopped nuts or sunflower seeds (optional)
½ c. raisins or dried cranberries (optional)
2 ½ c. finely grated zucchini
¼ c. olive oil
¾ c. applesauce
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease muffin cups. Mix dry ingredients. Add wet ingredients and stir just to mix. Place batter in muffin cups and bake 15-18 minutes, until centre springs back. Do not over bake. Cool ten minutes before removing from muffin tins. These freeze well or store in the fridge for up to a week.
Main Course Zucchini Recipes
Easy French Ratatouille
Makes 8 to 10 servings
2 large eggplants
2 yellow onions
3 bell peppers
6-8 medium zucchini
4 large tomatoes
1 1/2 – 2 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 cloves garlic
1 bay leaf
3-4 sprigs thyme
1/4 cup loosely packed basil, sliced into ribbons
Extra basil for garnishing
Salt and pepper
Peel the eggplants, if desired, and chop them into bite-sized cubes. Transfer them to a strainer set over a bowl and toss with a tablespoon of salt. Let the eggplant sit while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In separate bowls, dice the onions. Roughly chop the peppers, zucchinis, and tomatoes into bite-sized pieces. Mince the garlic. Warm a teaspoon of olive oil in a large (at least 5 1/2 quart) pot over medium-high heat. Add the onions and a generous pinch of salt. Sauté until the onions have softened and are just beginning to brown (about 10 minutes). Add the peppers and continue cooking until the peppers have also softened (about another 5 minutes). Transfer the onions and peppers to a clean bowl.
Add another teaspoon of oil to the pot and sauté the zucchini with a generous pinch of salt until the zucchini has softened and is beginning to brown (about 5 minutes). Transfer the zucchini to the bowl with the onions and peppers.
Rinse the eggplant under running water and squeeze the cubes gently with your hands to remove moisture. Warm two teaspoons of oil in the pan and sauté the eggplant until it has softened and has begun to turn translucent (about 10 minutes). Transfer the eggplant to the bowl with the other vegetables.
Warm another teaspoon of olive oil in the pan and sauté the garlic until it is fragrant and just starting to turn golden (about 1 minute). Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, whole sprigs of thyme. As the tomato juices begin to bubble, scrape up the brown glaze on the bottom of the pan.
Add all of the vegetables back into the pan and stir until everything is evenly mixed. Bring the stew to a simmer. Turn the heat to low. Simmer for at least 20 minutes or up to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Just before taking the ratatouille off the heat, stir in the basil. Sprinkle the extra basil and a dash of olive oil over each bowl as you serve.
Leftovers can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for up to three months. Ratatouille is often better reheated the second day!
(My kids who dislike pasta love this recipe!)
2 1/2 cups zucchini, sliced 1/4 inch thick
1 lb. lean ground beef
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 small tomatoes, cut up
6 ounce can tomato paste
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
1/4 cup water
1/8 teaspoon pepper
16 oz. tub of low fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 teaspoon flour
Cook zucchini until tender, drain and set aside. Fry meat and onions until meat is brown and onions are tender; drain fat. Add next 8 ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered 10 minutes or until reduced to 2 cups.
In small bowl slightly beat egg. Add cottage cheese, half of shredded cheese and flour.
In (1 1/2-qt.) baking-roasting pan arrange half of the meat mixture. Top with half of the zucchini and all the cottage cheese mixture. Top with remaining meat and zucchini.
Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 10 minutes longer. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Zucchini Mozzarella Patties
(another kid favorite!)
4 cups coarsely grated zucchini, packed (one thin zucchini about 10-inches in length)
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 small onion, finely chopped (or use green onions)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2 -3 teaspoons fresh minced garlic (or to taste, or use 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (can use cheddar cheese)
1 teaspoon seasoning salt
1 -2 teaspoon fresh coarse ground black pepper (or to taste)
Squeeze out as much of the moisture in the zucchini as possible. Place the zucchini in a large bowl. Add in all remaining ingredients except oil. Mix well to combine and adjust seasoning salt and black pepper to taste.
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Drop the zucchini mixture by heaping tablespoons into hot oil and fry on both sides until golden brown.
• 2 medium zucchini
• 2 teaspoons olive oil
• 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt, to taste (Lawry’s or Johnny’s)
• 1/3-1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, to taste (and size of zucchini)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Clean the medium zucchinis well. Cut off ends and slice them lengthwise into quarters so that you have eight pieces. Coat the bottom of a baking dish with the olive oil and place the zucchini pieces in a lightly sprayed dish. Sprinkle with the seasoning salt, then with Parmesan cheese. Place uncovered in the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 350. Serve two pieces to each person as a side dish.
Zucchini Dessert Ideas
Chocolate Zucchini Bread
• 3 eggs
• 1 cup vegetable oil
• 2 cups sugar
• 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
• 2 cups zucchini, peeled, shredded
• 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1/2 cup baking cocoa
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon, ground
• 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
In a mixing bowl, beat eggs, oil, sugar and vanilla. Stir in zucchini.
Combine dry ingredients; add to zucchini mixture and mix well. Pour into two greased 8x4x3-inch loaf pans. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour or until bread tests done. Makes 2 loaves.
• 8 cups zucchini
• 1 cup sugar
• 3 tablespoons flour
• 1 dash salt
• 1 teaspoon cinnamon
• 3/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
• 1 tablespoon lemon juice
• 1 (10 ounce) can crushed pineapple
• 1 box yellow or white cake mix
• 1/2-1 cup butter, melted
• 1/2 cup nuts, or sunflower seeds
Peel and cut zucchini. Remove seeds and cut into 1/2” slices. Cook in boiling water until tender. Cool. Drain. Add dry ingredients. Add pineapple (with juice). Pour into greased 13” x 9” dish. Sprinkle cake mix on top. Drizzle with butter and add nuts or seeds if desired. Bake at 350 for an hour. Serve with frozen yogurt.
Okay! When life gives you too many zucchinis, bake. For now, I’ve solved The Case of the Multiplying Zucchinis—and retained my good neighbor status.
As for the next basket of zucchini which I am sure will be arriving tomorrow? I am considering moving or passing the next basket on to my co-workers!
Perhaps when I present my zucchini offering I will work these fun facts into the conversation to take the recipients’ minds off the fact that they are being deluged with zucchini:
• The word zucchini comes from ‘zucca’ the Italian word for squash.
• One zucchini has just 25 calories. A baked potato has 130 calories—without the butter and sour cream!
• The flower of the zucchini plant is edible. Garnish salads and desserts with it.
• The world’s largest zucchini on record was 69 1/2 inches long, and weighed 65 lbs.
• Nutrients and vitamins found in zucchini can help prevent cancer and heart disease.
• A soap bar called Fresh Zucchini Flower Big Bar Goat’s Milk Soap is made with real zucchini.
• A zucchini contains more potassium than a banana.
• Zucchinis are best picked when they are small to medium-sized.
Do you have other creative ways to solve The Case of the Multiplying Zucchinis? We’d love to hear from you!
The first person to tell us a create way to solve the multiplying zucchinis will received the 101 Things to Do with Zucchini by Georgia Patrick
Happy Maniac Monday!